The Other McCain

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#DUUUVAL! Patriots Trading Mac Jones to Jacksonville; Now I’m a Jags Fan?

Posted on | March 10, 2024 | Comments Off on #DUUUVAL! Patriots Trading Mac Jones to Jacksonville; Now I’m a Jags Fan?

First, the news from ESPN:

The New England Patriots are finalizing a deal to trade quarterback Mac Jones to the Jacksonville Jaguars, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Sunday.
The Patriots will receive a 2024 sixth-round pick as compensation, sources told Schefter. The trade cannot be processed until the new league year begins Wednesday and Jones passes a physical.
New England owns the No. 3 pick in the NFL draft, where many around the league expect them to select one of the top-rated quarterbacks — likely a decision between LSU’s Jayden Daniels and North Carolina’s Drake Maye.
Jones, who grew up in Jacksonville, joins his hometown team as a backup to Trevor Lawrence — the first pick in the 2021 draft. Jones was selected 15th in the 2021 draft.
Mac Jones is the second quarterback selected in the 2021 first round to be traded before the end of his rookie contract. It’s possible that Zach Wilson and Justin Fields will have that distinction this offseason as well.
Jones is expected to compete with C.J. Beathard to be Lawrence’s primary backup. Beathard is in the final year of a two-year, $4.5 million contract he signed before the 2023 season.
Beathard has started just one game in his three seasons in Jacksonville, completing 17 of 24 passes for 178 yards to lead the Jaguars to a 26-0 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Week 17 last season. That was the only win for the Jaguars in their final six games, as they finished 9-8 and failed to make the playoffs.
Lawrence had started every game of his NFL career until he missed Week 17 because of a right, throwing shoulder injury he suffered the week before in a loss at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Lawrence battled multiple injuries last season: a left knee sprain, an ankle sprain, a concussion and the shoulder injury. He wasn’t a full participant in any practice over the last three weeks of the season.
Jones’ three-year tenure with the Patriots began with promise, as he was selected to the Pro Bowl as an alternate in his rookie season. Jones started all 17 regular-season games as the Patriots went 10-7 and clinched a playoff berth (losing to the Buffalo Bills 47-17 in the wild-card round).
Jones was 352-of-521 for 3,801 yards with 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions as a rookie, but his production dipped over the next two seasons. The departure of offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to become the Las Vegas Raiders’ head coach was the first of several changes — both coaching- and personnel-wise — that affected Jones’ development.

Assuming the deal is done, so is my tenure as a New England Patriots fan. When they drafted my boy from Alabama, they acquired me as a fan, and now I’ve been traded to Jacksonville, and I’m fine with that. All things considered, it’s an ideal situation for Mac. He won’t have to deal with the crazy expectations in New England, where the fans seem to think they’re entitled to be in the Super Bowl every year, and Mac Jones was always faulted for not being Tom Brady 2.0. After the last couple of rotten years in New England, Mac needs to recover his confidence, and the low expectations in Jacksonville — where they’ve never won a Super Bowl, and have only made two playoff appearances in the past 15 years — will be very helpful in that regard. Plus, he’s only expected to be the backup to golden boy Trevor Lawrence, and he should be grateful for that opportunity, given the injuries Lawrence suffered this past season.

The way the NFL is nowadays, especially with their concussion protocols, having a backup QB who’s ready to go is absolutely essential. Last year, Joe Flacco was sitting on his sofa until November, when injuries forced the Cleveland Browns to sign him and, at age 38, led them to the playoffs. One could easily envision Mac Jones getting his chance to be QB1 for the Jaguars if Lawrence gets injured again, but even if that doesn’t happen, Mac might benefit from a year or two as a backup QB before making his way back to being a starter, if not in Jacksonville, then with some other team. He’s at a crucial juncture of his career, and now has a chance to redeem his reputation. So for 2024, I say, let’s go Jags!


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