New England Patriots

Report: Pats ‘don't plan on' picking up Mac Jones' fifth-year option

Patriots sources also reportedly claim that Jones may not be the one to blame for his struggles.

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The New England Patriots are reportedly not planning on picking up quarterback Mac Jones' fifth-year option, which would make the Alabama product a free agent after the 2024-25 NFL season, Mark Daniels of MassLive reported on Monday.

After Jones' 2-9 start to the season that led to his benching, the Patriots are reportedly keen on a complete rebuild without their former first-rounder, already evident by the mutual decision to part ways with long-time head coach Bill Belichick.

"According to a source, the Patriots don’t plan on picking up Jones’ fifth-year option," Daniels wrote. "The quarterback has a clean slate with (Jerod) Mayo and could remain on the roster, but the team won’t hesitate to move him if the right deal comes across their desk."

Jones will enter his fourth contract year next season, so if the Patriots don't pick up his fifth-year option, he'd be a free agent after the 2025 campaign.

With the third overall pick in the upcoming draft, the Patriots are widely expected to select a quarterback in either Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, or Jayden Daniels. New England could keep Jones on the roster next season to help acclimate the new young quarterback, but it seems his future in Foxboro could be limited to just that.

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While some may ask why Jones would want to help a newly drafted QB taking his job, Daniels reported that some in the organization had nothing but positive things about how Jones handled his benching, specifically mentioning how good of a teammate he was to Zappe.

"Jones openly rooted for Zappe trying to show coaches he was handling his demotion maturely," Daniels wrote of the Patriots quarterback. "However, behind closed doors, observers noted Jones had little support. It seemed like he was being shut out."

Daniels' report goes on to add that Belichick stopped talking to Jones altogether after their 10-7 Week 12 loss to the New York Giants. In addition, multiple team sources told Daniels that Jones had seemingly been shut out by Belichick and had little to no support from him or his coaching staff. Jones reportedly grew frustrated during his second year due to the constant scheme changes and new offensive coordinators -- something Belichick grew irritated with.

With the hiring of Jerod Mayo as the new head coach, Jones future in New England remains up in the air for now and likely depends on what route the team goes in the draft.

The Patriots must make a decision on Jones' fifth-year option by May.

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