NFL free agency tracker: Patriots finalizing trade of Mac Jones to Jaguars

NFL free agency tracker: Patriots finalizing trade of Mac Jones to Jaguars

Tooba Shakir 54 years ago 0 0

The new era of the New England Patriots will not include quarterback Mac Jones.

The Patriots are set to trade Jones, their 2021 first-round draft choice who struggled the past two seasons, to the Jacksonville Jaguars, a person familiar with the deliberations confirmed Sunday. The move cannot be official until Wednesday.

The Jaguars are expected to send a late-round draft pick to the Patriots for Jones, a Jacksonville native. Jones becomes a backup to Jaguars starter Trevor Lawrence.

The Patriots selected Jones 15th overall out of Alabama in the 2021 draft, 14 picks after the Jaguars took Lawrence first overall from Clemson.

Kirk Cousins, Baker Mayfield may join Russell Wilson on NFL QB market

Jones became the starter immediately and was selected to the Pro Bowl as a rookie while helping the Patriots reach the AFC playoffs. But things unraveled from there. Jones’s play deteriorated amid instability on the Patriots’ offensive coaching staff and a lack of playmakers around him. He totaled 24 touchdown passes and 23 interceptions over the past two seasons and lost the starting job last season to Bailey Zappe.

The Patriots parted with Bill Belichick, their six-time Super Bowl-winning coach, after going 4-13 last season. They utilized a succession plan written into Jerod Mayo’s contract to quickly promote him from linebackers coach to head coach. They put Eliot Wolf, their director of scouting, in charge of their front office. And now they are beginning to remake their roster.

They possess the No. 3 pick in next month’s draft and widely are expected to use it on a quarterback, perhaps North Carolina’s Drake Maye or LSU’s Jayden Daniels. They also could add a veteran quarterback to go with Zappe and their potentially prized rookie.

The NFL’s free agent negotiating period begins Monday, when teams can line up deals with free agents from other teams. Those deals, as well as trades, can become official on Wednesday — the start of the new league year.

Lawrence and Jones were among the five quarterbacks taken in the first 15 choices of the 2021 draft. Zach Wilson was taken second in that draft by the New York Jets. Trey Lance went third to the San Francisco 49ers, and Justin Fields went 11th to the Chicago Bears. Lance and now Jones already have been traded, and Wilson and Fields perhaps could be traded as soon as this week.

Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox announced his retirement after 12 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.

“After much reflection, I have made the decision to retire from the game of football,” Cox said in a statement. “I gave everything I had to this team and to this city. I don’t know what’s next for me, but I do know that I’m forever grateful for my time here in Philadelphia and with the Eagles organization.”

Cox, 33, was a six-time Pro Bowl selection. He would have been eligible for free agency this week. Instead, he becomes the second Eagles mainstay to retire this offseason, following center Jason Kelce.

Russell Wilson meets with Giants, Steelers

Quarterback Russell Wilson met Thursday with the New York Giants and Friday with the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions.

Other teams also have expressed interest in Wilson, according to one of those people. The Denver Broncos granted Wilson permission to meet with teams after informing him last week that he will be released after the start of the new league year.

Wilson is searching for his third NFL team and could be a relatively inexpensive option, at least in Year 1, for a franchise searching for a veteran quarterback. The Broncos must pay him $39 million next season, minus whatever he makes from his new team. Wilson, 35, was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and won a Super Bowl over 10 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks before spending two increasingly turbulent seasons with the Broncos.

Chris Jones to remain with Chiefs

The top free agent came off the board before NFL free agency even began. Defensive tackle Chris Jones agreed to a five-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs, he and his agents announced Saturday night.

His representatives, Katz Brothers Sports, announced that Jones agreed to a record contract to make him the NFL’s highest-paid defensive tackle, but did not specify the financial details. Jones wrote on social media he would have “5 more years of greatness!” with the Chiefs. The agreement, once it’s finalized, is expected to pay Jones approximately $160 million over five seasons and will include about $95 million in guaranteed money, according to a person familiar with the pending terms.

Jones is a five-time Pro Bowl selection and a two-time all-pro in eight seasons with the Chiefs, amassing 75.5 career sacks. He has won three Super Bowl titles with the franchise, including in 2023 when Jones had 10.5 sacks in 16 regular season games after missing the season opener while holding out as part of a contract dispute.

Broncos to trade for Jerry Jeudy

The Denver Broncos agreed to trade wide receiver Jerry Jeudy to the Cleveland Browns, according to two people familiar with the deal. The trade can become official Wednesday.

The Browns will send fifth- and sixth-round picks in this year’s draft to the Broncos, according to the people with knowledge of the agreement.

Jeudy, a former first-round draft choice, had 211 catches for 3,053 yards and 11 touchdowns in four seasons with the Broncos, including 54 catches for 758 yards and two touchdowns last season. He joins Amari Cooper in Cleveland to bolster the Browns’ wide receiver corps.

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