JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Mac Jones Era is underway in New England.
The Patriots released Cam Newton, Jones’ only competition for the starting quarterback position, clearing the way for the Bolles product to start in Week 1.
Jones was the No. 15 overall pick in last spring’s NFL draft out of Alabama and quickly established that he was more game-ready than thought. Now, he’ll get a chance to start for coach Bill Belichick and try and bring the Patriots another Super Bowl championship.
Jones’ path to the NFL was unique in today’s era.
Bolles demolished teams during Jones’ senior season in 2016, and he was largely spectator more than player after halftime in all but one regular season game, a 24-23 classic against Raines. The Bulldogs reached the championship game that year and lost to Cocoa, 31-17. Jones passed for 1,532 yards and 23 TDs, throwing just two interceptions.
Congrats to my fellow @BollesSchool alum @MacJones_10! Best of luck … except when you play the Jags of course! https://t.co/Ev8wW20OQf— Ryan Murphy (@ryan_f_murphy) August 31, 2021
Locally, fans didn’t see a whole lot of Jones on the field unless they got to their seats early. They didn’t fully realize the offseason buzz that he generated playing 7 on 7 for his Pro Impact squad or hitting the camps in the summer.
He signed early with Alabama and bided his time waiting for his opportunity.
Jones sat behind Jalen Hurts and Tagovailoa. And he sat some more. Jones got his foot in the door for the first time in 2019 when Tagovailoa suffered a season-ending hip injury. That four-game audition paved the way for 2020 and one of the best seasons by a quarterback in Alabama history.
Jones won the Davey O’Brien Award and finished third in the Heisman Trophy race.
A look at other area players who have been released during a month of NFL transactions.
Receiver Javon Wims (White) was cut in the second wave of transactions by Chicago. Wims was a seventh-round pick out of Georgia in 2018. He played in 33 games and had 28 catches for 266 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Linebacker Willie Harvey (Menendez) was released in the final round of cuts on Tuesday. Harvey played in two games for the Browns in 2019 and had a tackle.
Defensive end JaQuan Bailey (Raines) was waived by Philadelphia. Bailey was a free agent signee by the Eagles out of Iowa State.
The team released cornerback Javaris Davis (White) in the final round of cuts. Miami claimed Davis in July of 2020 and released him the following month. Miami signed him in January this year to a reserve/futures contract.
Also, receiver Isaiah Ford (Trinity Christian) prior to the final cut to 53. Ford was a seventh-round pick in 2018 and has played in 19 games in his career. He was 51 catches for 520 yards in his career.
Offensive tackle William Sweet (First Coast) was among first round of cuts earlier this month. He was undrafted out of North Carolina and has spent time on four rosters in the NFL, the Cardinals, Cowboys, Niners and Falcons.
Safety Chris Milton (Charlton County) was part of the first wave of cuts by New York earlier in August. Milton has played in 55 games over his five-year career and has 36 tackles and two fumble recoveries.
Running back Otis Anderson Jr. (University Christian) was released in the final round of cuts on Tuesday. He signed with the team as an undrafted free agent last June, but was a likely player to be released following the team’s trade for Sony Michel last week.
Washington Football Team
The Washington Football Team released offensive tackle David Sharpe, who played at Englewood and Providence and graduated from Fletcher.