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#pounditWednesday, July 17, 2024

Report reveals Patriots’ stance on Mac Jones heading into 2024

Mac Jones warms up before a game

Sep 18, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) warms up before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots have some serious rebuilding to do under new head coach Jerod Mayo, but there seems to be a growing belief that they could stick with the status quo at the most important position on the field.

Mark Daniels of MLive.com published a column on Monday that examines how Mac Jones went from a Pro Bowl rookie season in 2021 to third string on the depth chart just two years later. The reporter’s sources said “a broken relationship” between Jones and former Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had a lot to do with that. However, Jones has also acknowledged that he freelanced too much when he became frustrated with the offense.

The entire piece is worth a read, but one thing that stuck out is that the Patriots have not ruled out bringing Jones back next season. Belichick’s relationship with Jones was nonexistent by the end of the 2023 season. With Mayo now in charge, Daniels was told by sources that “the door isn’t shut” for Jones to return.

Jones has a base salary of under $3 million next season. While the Patriots do not plan to pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract (which covers the 2025 season), they may keep him for another year.

“The quarterback has a clean slate with Mayo and could remain on the roster, but the team won’t hesitate to move him if the right deal comes across their desk,” Daniels wrote.

The Patriots have the third overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. That means they are guaranteed to have a shot at either Caleb Williams, Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels. They could also pass on a QB and either trade back or address their glaring wide receiver need by taking Marvin Harrison Jr.

It makes sense to keep an open mind, but Jones will have a lot to prove right out of the gate if he begins the 2024 season as New England’s starter. Fans will likely turn at him at the very first sign of trouble.

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