Former NFL MVP gives Jacksonville Jaguars rave review for the Mac Jones trade

• The Jaguars have gotten plenty of praise after trading for Mac Jones.

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 Jacksonville Jaguars turned heads when they traded for quarterback Mac Jones before the start of free agency. While Jones was seen as a potential trade candidate since the end of the 2023 season, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who thought that the Jags would be interested in him. Moreover, they were the only club that made a serious offer for the former Pro Bowl passer. And while the move was received with a bit of skepticism, you can count Matt Ryan among those who liked it.

Ryan said during an appearance on Up & Adams that he liked the Jaguars were able to acquire a former Pro Bowl quarterback for just a sixth-round selection. Moreover, the 2017 league MVP thinks Jones gives Jacksonville insurance in case Trevor Lawrence misses time with injuries.

"I knew there's no downside. You're talking about you giving up a sixth-round pick," Ryan told host Kay Adams. "This was a first-round pick just a couple of years ago that was in a Pro Bowl. Given the circumstances that went on in New England, I think it's hard to have a complete picture of what Matt Jones is as a quarterback in this league."

Ryan continued, "To me, Trevor Lawrence had those injury issues at the end of last season. He toughed it out and he got it through it, which is which is admirable but you never know when that's gonna happen. And if they truly believe they're a playoff team, you look at Doug Pederson's experience in Philadelphia going to win that Super Bowl."

Nick Foles was the guy who really stepped in and played after the Carson Wentz injury. I looked at it and say, if they're really trying to win a Super Bowl, if they're trying to build it, and you can get a backup quarterback that has so much starting experience, ability to go win games. You never know what's gonna happen to Trevor Lawrence and if you can acquire a guy for a sixth-round pick for me, it makes a lot of sense."

As Ryan noted, Jones regressed the past two years after making the Pro Bowl as a rookie. A first-round pick in 2021, he's completed 66.1 percent of his passes for 8,018 yards with 46 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. That would be pretty good production coming from a backup quarterback.

In Jacksonville, Jones will have a chance to be the primary backup behind Trevor Lawrence and work on rebuilding his stock. The Jags are unlikely to pick up the fifth-year option of his rookie deal, so the former Alabama standout should become a free agent in 2025. Here's Ryan's exchange with Adams.

The Jaguars got a promising backup in Mac Jones

The Jaguars probably expect Mac Jones to provide a boost at the backup quarterback position. Maybe they thrust Trevor Lawrence into action even when he was dealing with injuries last year because they were confident C.J. Beathard could step in his place and win games.

Now, Jones doesn't mean the Jags will immediately move on from Beathard. They could have them compete in training camp for the top backup spot. That said, Jones is the more talented of the two, and if he can regain his Pro Bowl form, he should have no trouble winning the job.

When you take into account that the best backup quarterback can make as much as $10 million per year, and Jones is set to have a cap hit of $2.7 million in 2024, the trade looks even better.

The Jacksonville Jaguras had bigger needs to start free agency, but they couldn't pass up the chance to upgrade the backup quarterback position. They most definitely got better when they traded for Mac Jones.

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