Report: Pats not picking up Mac Jones’ 5th-year option

The New England Patriots will not pick up quarterback Mac Jones’ fifth-year option for the 2025 season, MassLive.com reported on Tuesday.

The deadline for NFL teams to exercise their options for first-round picks from the 2021 NFL Draft is May 2.

Jones, who has regressed after a solid 2021 rookie season and was benched multiple times in 2023, would then become a free agent after the 2024 season.

Picking up the option would put the Pats on the hook for an estimated $23 million in guaranteed salary in 2025. Instead, New England will attempt to trade Jones, 25, this offseason, per the report.

Jones was the No. 15 overall pick in 2021 out of Alabama. He made the Pro Bowl and went 10-7 in his first season, passing for 3,801 yards with 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

Over the past two seasons, however, Jones is 8-17 as New England’s starter with 24 touchdowns and 23 interceptions.

Bailey Zappe, undrafted in 2022, wound up starting six games for the Patriots during head coach Bill Belichick’s final season with the franchise in 2023.