Jaguars are the best place for QB Mac Jones to resurrect his career

• HC Doug Pederson wants new Jaguars Mac Jones to gain his confidence back.

Nov 5, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA;  New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) throws
Nov 5, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) throws / Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars added depth to their quarterback room when they traded for former first-round pick Mac Jones before the start of free agency. Jones is expected to compete for the backup job behind Trevor Lawrence in 2024 but will also have a chance to take a step back and build his confidence. Head coach Doug Pederson recently talked about what the team expects from the young passer.

Pederson met with the local media at the NFL scouting combine and said that the past two seasons aren't a true reflection of Jones.

"Those are conversations we'll have, I want to have with him coming in," Pederson said. "I don't want him to feel like there's any pressure on him to perform. He knows the expectations and what we're as a staff, what we're what we're looking for. I'm not in the mind of Mack Jones, but you're a first-round pick. You had an excellent rookie season, things didn't go the way you want them to. And then you get sidelined a little bit in there. Everything kind of feels like it may have gotten derailed."

"And that's not that's not who he is. Part of it too, is just building that confidence back, and letting him go out there and compete. Where he doesn't have to be the guy. Go out there and show us what you're capable of doing. That's the expectation," Pederson said.

As Pederson noted, Jones made the Pro Bowl as a rookie, completing 67.3 percent of his throws for 3,801 yards with 22 touchdowns and 13 seasons. However, he regressed in 2022 under Matt Patricia, the de facto offensive coordinator. By Year 3, the New England Patriots had benched Jones multiple times and his confidence wavered as a result. Following the 2023 season, they started a rebuild and he became the subject of trade talks.

The Jaguars offered a sixth to New England, and without any better bids in place, they agreed. Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated said at the time of the deal, there weren't many suitors in line because "Jones doesn't have much physical upside."

Mac Jones gives the Jaguars insurance in case Trevor Lawrence misses time

While Mac Jones will enter the 2023 season with tempered expectations, that doesn't mean he's just going to take it easy in Jacksonville. He won't be competing for the starting job behind center anytime soon but he'll most definitely be tasked with pushing backup C.J. Beathard. The Jaguars' brass, for their part, will want to see him play like the Pro Bowl nod he was in 2021, and be ready in case Trevor Lawrence misses time.

Now, nobody wants to see Lawrence get hurt. Heck, the coaching staff is doing their best to ensure he gets all the help he needs. Having said that, injuries are an inherent part of a collision sport such as football so it makes sense for the Jags to get the best possible backup they can. That wasn't the case last year, when they pressed Lawrence into action because they didn't seemingly trust Beathard.

With Jones in the fold, the Jaguars can afford to sit Lawrence and let him heal in case he gets injured *knocks on wood*. The fact that Jones is set to have a cap hit of $2.7 million makes the trade even better when you take into account that the top backup quarterbacks in the league can make upwards of $10 million.

The Jacksonville Jaguars bolstered several position groups in free agency and the quarterback room was no different, getting a quality backup in case Trevor Lawrence is unavailable at some point of the 2024 season. For his part, Mac Jones will get a chance to resurrect his NFL career.

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