Mac Jones, Patriots Reportedly Agree to 4-Year Rookie Contract

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 2021

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, right, holds a team jersey with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after the New England Patriots selected him with the 15th pick in the NFL football draft, Thursday April 29, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

The New England Patriots signed Mac Jones to his rookie contract on Tuesday, according to ESPN's Field Yates

The four-year deal is projected to pay him a total of $15.6 million, with the Pats holding a fifth-year option on the contract. 

One of the biggest storylines heading into the draft was where Jones would come off the board, with rumors that he would go No. 3 overall to the San Francisco 49ers. But the Niners went with Trey Lance instead, and Jones fell all the way to No. 15 and into the waiting arms of Bill Belichick. He was the fifth quarterback off the board behind Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Lance and Justin Fields. 

In New England, the 22-year-old will have the opportunity to compete for the starting gig immediately with last year's starter, Cam Newton

As for what the Patriots are getting in Jones, the NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah called him a "high-effort thrower, with slightly above-average arm strength. He's at his best on touch throws, where he can anticipate and place the ball on the proper shoulder of his target. He shows toughness to hang in versus pressure, although he rarely faced it with an elite offensive line protecting him."

He added that the Alabama product "should become a starting NFL quarterback, but his lack of twitch and athleticism will limit the playbook with the way the game is trending."

Granted, the Patriots had a pretty good run with a similarly unathletic quarterback in Tom Brady. But the veteran is also arguably the greatest quarterback to ever play the game given his ability to quickly process coverages and release the ball, his pocket presence and his incredible mind for the game. Frankly, his only real weakness as a quarterback is that lack of athleticism, and comparing Jones to him is simply unfair. 

Jones may be the future of the position in New England, but he has a lot to prove before that's the case, or before he can even be considered a true replacement for Brady.