Mac Jones speaks for first time since Patriots trade

Dec 17, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) warms
Dec 17, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) warms / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots made quite a start to free agency earlier this week when it was announced they were trading quarterback Mac Jones to the Jaguars for a sixth-round pick. Although it wasn't a totally unexpected move, there was some belief that Jerod Mayo would keep the former first-round pick around to either be a bridge quarterback for the rookie they plan to draft or to see if he could revert to the player he was as a rookie.

That potential plan fizzled out fairly quickly, and they chose to make trading Jones one of the first moves to make in free agency this year.

The decision has been met with mixed emotions from New England fans and media, with half excited that the Mac Jones experience is finally over and the other extending empathy to the quarterback for his mostly unfair situation during his three years with the team.

But that's in the past now, and Jones spoke to the Jacksonville media for the first time on Thursday afternoon, sharing some insight into how the Patriots collaborated with him on the decision to get the trade done.

"We kind of just decided the mutual parting of ways was the best decision for both of us. 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."

Mac Jones speaks for first time since Patriots trade

It seemed clear his time was done with Bill Belichick in charge, especially since he was outright benched a little more than halfway through the season and eventually became a healthy scratch for the final week, a detail he was not told beforehand.

But even with Mayo leading the way now, with help from presumed GM Eliot Wolf, a new direction is on the horizon, and Jones was not part of those plans.

The quarterback seems fine with that, as he recalled all he learned during his time in New England and reiterated his desire to keep working to get back to the player he once was. He seems particularly happy to do that with his hometown team, too.

"A lot of great learning experiences. Learned from a great coach, obviously, one of the greatest of all time and fortunate to kind of work with some great head coaches and learned a lot, played a lot of games, started a lot of games and obviously things went the way they did and my goal was to kind of get the train back on the tracks. So, I think I can do that here."

It will be an interesting homecoming for Jones, who will serve as a backup to the quarterback taken first overall in the same draft.

Whether or not he will ever be given another starting shot remains a question, but he might have that opportunity with the Jaguars if Trevor Lawrence fails to impress during the final year of his rookie contract.

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