July 22, 2024

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Free agency saw several veteran quarterbacks find new homes. A number of trades took place involving signal-callers as well, though, including the one which ended Mac Jones‘ Patriots tenure.

The 2021 first-rounder was dealt to the Jaguars last week in return for a sixth-round pick. The move will allow Jones to play for his hometown team while getting a fresh start following his underwhelming run in New England. He will serve as Trevor Lawrence‘s backup for at least one season, while the Patriots will reset under center. Jones recently spoke about the trade.

“We kind of just decided the mutual parting of ways was the best decision for both of us,” the 25-year-old said, via Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald. “For me, it was just about moving on and getting back home, and I couldn’t be more excited. And for them, it’s about moving forward and turning the page. So really, that’s what we decided, and I think it’s a great decision.”

Jones had an encouraging rookie season, but his struggles the following year under Matt Patricia and Joe Judge led to questions about his long-term viability as a starter. A coaching change led to Bill O’Brien taking charge of the Patriots’ offense in 2023, but Jones did not rebound as hoped. The Alabama product was benched in favor of Bailey Zappe to close out the campaign, furthering the expectation he would be dealt during the offseason.

The Patriots have indeed moved on, with Zappe, former Jaguars addition Nathan Rourke and veteran Jacoby Brissett on the QB depth chart. New England is widely expected to draft a signal-caller third overall, and the understanding of that plan lends credence to Jones’ assertion the trade was a mutual parting of ways. The latter will compete for the QB2 job in Jacksonville with veteran C.J. Beathard.

One year remains on Jones’ rookie contract; the Jaguars will surely decline his 2025 fifth-year option (valued at $25.66MM). His free agent stock will thus depend on his play over the coming season, something which will not involve much in the way of opportunities if Lawrence remains healthy. Jones’ value and the performance of his replacement will be worth monitoring in 2024

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