Jaguars To Acquire Mac Jones From Patriots

The Patriots have agreed to trade quarterback Mac Jones to the Jaguars, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Although the deal cannot be finalized until the new league year opens on Wednesday and until Jones passes a physical, it appears that Jones — a Jacksonville native — will try to resurrect his career in his hometown.

Schefter reported that New England and Jacksonville were discussing a sixth-round pick as trade compensation, and Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network confirms that a sixth-round choice (No. 192 overall) is the official return for Jones. Ian Rapoport of says four teams were in the mix for the Alabama product, though Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports says that, as of yesterday, the Jags were the only club to make an offer. Albert Breer of adds that New England was seeking a fifth-rounder before ultimately settling for the sixth.

A report from late last month suggested that the Patriots had a three-step plan in place for addressing their quarterback situation this offseason, and trading Mac Jones was one of those three steps. While there was some pushback on the notion that New England had developed some sort of QB flowchart that had been distributed throughout the organization, it has seemed clear for some time that the club would seek a Jones trade, which would represent a beneficial change of scenery for both player and team. Now, the Pats can focus on adding a veteran to their roster and/or acquiring a top collegiate prospect in the draft. The most recent rumors on the draft front have indicated that if Caleb Williams and Jayden Daniels are off the board by the time New England is on the clock with the No. 3 pick, the club will trade back.

While Jones is obviously not a threat to unseat Trevor Lawrence as the Jaguars’ starting quarterback, he will have an opportunity to regain his footing while working with Lawrence — whom he has known for years, as the two frequently competed against each other in high school recruiting camps — and head coach Doug Pederson, a celebrated quarterback whisperer. Jones, the Offensive Rookie of the Year runner-up in 2021, clearly has potential that may have been stunted by the Patriots’ coaching and schematic maneuvers in 2022, and as he enters the final year of his rookie contract, Pederson & Co. will try to unlock some of that potential and at least turn Jones into a viable backup.

Another factor in the trade is the health of current backup C.J. Beathard, as ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler details. Per Fowler, Beathard has been “banged up,” so the Jones acquisition gives the Jags a healthy QB2 option. The nature and extent of Beathard’s injury is unclear, and so is his future with the club at this point, though ESPN’s Mike Reiss says Jones and Beathard are expected to compete for the backup job.

The Jaguars will still have a sixth-round compensatory choice (No. 212 overall) in the 2024 draft.

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