Jaguars To Decline Mac Jones’ Fifth-Year Option

Mac Jones is set to finish out his four-year rookie contract with the Jaguars, who faced three fifth-year option decisions as a result of acquiring the former Patriots first-rounder. After exercising Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne‘s options, they will make the expected call of declining Jones’.

The Jags will not extend Jones’ contract through 2025, according to’s Michael DiRocco. This would have meant a $25.66MM salary. Seeing as Jones is set to be Lawrence’s backup, the former No. 15 overall pick’s option loomed as a non-starter from the jump. Teams have until May 2 to exercise or decline fifth-year options on 2021 first-rounders.

[RELATED: 2025 NFL Fifth-Year Option Tracker]

The Patriots’ starter for most of his time in New England, Jones landed on the third tier of the option structure. The Pats were not going to exercise the former No. 15 overall pick’s option, as his play sharply declined after a promising rookie season. The former Offensive Rookie of the Year runner-up — acquired for a sixth-round pick in March — is now officially in a contract year.

Jones joins three other quarterbacks from the 2021 first round — Trey Lance, Justin Fields and now Zach Wilsonin being traded. Lawrence is the only member of that quintet who remains with his original team. The former No. 1 overall pick is also the only member of that group who saw his option exercised. That draft serves as a warning sign for teams that dived into this year’s first round for a passer; last week’s group tied 1983 for the most Round 1 passers in a draft.

As for Jones, he will attempt to move back on track in what is expected to be a season out of the spotlight. Disagreements with Bill Belichick created the perception of a frosty relationship between the Alabama alum and the former Patriots HC; the post-Belichick Pats were among the teams to acquire a quarterback in this year’s first round. As Drake Maye prepares to solidify himself as a franchise-caliber passer, Jones is at an early-career crossroads. Lawrence having only missed one NFL start points to Jones taking a reset year.

Jones, 25, was initially linked to being the 49ers’ target in 2021. That may well have been the case, but the team went with Lance. With Josh McDaniels calling the shots to close out his second stint as Patriots OC, Jones piloted the Pats to an 10-7 record and finished behind only Ja’Marr Chase in that season’s Offensive Rookie of the Year balloting. Belichick’s decision to go with Matt Patricia as OC in 2022 predictably backfired, and Jones — who joined the chorus of skeptics about the Patricia decision — drew the ire of his NFL HC for reaching out to Alabama staffers about solutions. No improvement took place under established OC Bill O’Brien, however, further tanking Jones’ value.

Jones ranked 28th in QBR last season and ended up benched for Bailey Zappe to close out the campaign. Averaging a career-low 6.1 yards per attempt, Jones threw 10 TD passes compared to 12 INTs. Going 2-9 as a starter last year, Jones spent Week 18 as the Pats’ third-stringer. The Jags have their three-year backup, C.J. Beathard, signed for the ’24 season as well. It will be interesting to see how Jacksonville’s depth chart looks come September.

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