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#pounditWednesday, April 17, 2024

New Patriots OC answers whether Mac Jones could start in 2024

Mac Jones in pads

Aug 12, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones 10) throws the ball during a game against the Washington Football Team at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Mac Jones is coming off another disastrous season with the New England Patriots, but there remains a chance that it may not be his last.

Alex Van Pelt, the Patriots’ new offensive coordinator, was asked about Jones during a Wednesday press conference. Van Pelt would not rule out Jones returning as New England’s starting quarterback in 2024.

“Really right now, everything is on the table,” Van Pelt said, as transcribed by Nick Shook of NFL.com. “As we go through this process, we really this last couple weeks, 10 days, have just been diving into who we are, trying to evaluate our guys. A lot of people in this situation, on staffs that have been here, they’re doing free agency. Well, we’re doing our guys as they are free agents. We’re trying to understand who we have here, as well as looking at other players out there.”

Van Pelt said he has spoken with Jones “a little bit” since Van Pelt was hired by the Patriots. For the most part, the OC lumped Jones in with everyone else on the roster. Van Pelt said he, head coach Jerod Mayo and the rest of the staff will use “a collaborative effort” to make decisions.

The Patriots have the No. 3 overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. That puts them in position to draft one of Caleb Williams (who will likely go first overall), Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels. New England could also address their wide receiver need by taking Marvin Harrison Jr.

Even if the Patriots do not use the No. 3 pick on a quarterback, that does not mean Jones is guaranteed to be back. They could still draft a QB later and bring in a veteran to serve as a bridge option for a season or two.

Jones finished with just 2,120 yards, 10 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions last season. He reportedly had some issues behind the scenes as well, which is why many feel it is unlikely that he will be back in 2024.

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