This could just be media hype as we've experienced it over Tua for the past couple of years. I think by the way Bailey Zapp played last year, you knew there would be competition thoughts for this year. BTW, I seem to remember a few quick-reaction fans here that said they would rather have Mac Jones over Tua (don't make me look it up and call you out ... lol).
NBC Sports Edge wrote:
Patriots HC Bill Belichick was non-committal about Mac Jones starting in 2023.https://www.nbcsportsedge.com/football/ ... /mac-jones
Belichick was asked whether or not Jones would be in a quarterback competition with Bailey Zappe, to which he responded, "Everybody will get a chance to play. We'll play the best players." Zappe saw a brief rise to stardom last season when he started two games for the injured Jones, leading the Patriots to a 2-0 record while throwing for 497 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception in those two starts. It's not farfetched to think Zappe could earn the starting job in camp after Jones struggled in his second season. Still, Jones will hold the inside edge given his first-round pedigree and familiarity with new offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien.