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Mac Jones to Patriots: Projecting No. 15 Pick's Contract with New England

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2021

FILE - Alabama quarterback Mac Jones passes against Ohio State during the second half of an NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game in Miami Gardens, Fla., in this Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, file photo. Patrick Surtain II and Mac Jones had the spotlight at Alabama's Pro Day, Tuesday, March 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

The New England Patriots are moving forward at quarterback with Mac Jones after selecting the Alabama star with the No. 15 pick of the 2021 NFL draft. 

The selection could give the team an NFL-ready passer, which is especially valuable if it can compete during the window of his rookie contract.

Jones will earn a projected $15,586,353 in his new four-year deal, per Spotrac, including a $8.7 million signing bonus. The quarterback will have a $2.8 million cap hit in 2021.

It's a major difference from the $34.1 million contract that will go to Trey Lance after he was taken No. 3 overall by the San Francisco 49ers. Jones was often linked to the 49ers before the draft, but his slide was significant.

Darren Rovell of Action Network noted the loss in guarantees:

Darren Rovell @darrenrovell

Mac Jones slide from No. 3 to No. 15 cost him about $13 million guaranteed.

The Patriots end up with great value, including the fifth-year option that will be available in 2025.

Jones enters the NFL after an incredible 2020 season at the college level, leading the Crimson Tide to a 13-0 record and a national championship. The quarterback finished third in voting for the Heisman Trophy after totaling 4,500 passing yards, 41 passing touchdowns and just four interceptions.

His 203.1 quarterback rating was the best in the college football last season.

Beyond the numbers, Jones proved his accuracy as a passer and has impressed with his mental approach to the game.

Per Aaron Suttles of The Athletic, Alabama coach Nick Saban said of the 22-year-old:

"He's a good leader. The guy is very committed to being the best player that he can be. He's smart. He's going to know the offense inside-out. He makes quick decisions. He's got great judgment. He's very accurate with the ball. I think the combination of those things is going to make him a fine player at the next level."

It could lead to a quick transition to the NFL for Jones and potentially a long career with the Patriots.

Even if Cam Newton returns as QB1 to start the 2021 season, the team now has a long-term option at the position for the first time since losing Tom Brady.

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