The likelihood of the Patriots picking up Mac Jones’ fifth-year option was already slim, as persistent struggles saw him demoted to a healthy inactive at the conclusion of last season.

It might have just gotten even slimmer, though.

NFL franchises have until May 2 to exercise the fifth-year option built into the contracts of first-round picks from the 2021 NFL Draft. The figures were released Friday, and Jones’ number is quite hefty. It would cost the Patriots just north of $25 million to exercise his option, as the 25-year-old failed to be selected to a Pro Bowl on the first ballot during his first three seasons, making the roster in 2021 as an injury alternate.

New England has money to burn, but not like that.

Story continues below advertisement

It’s already been reported New England has no intentions of picking up Jones’ option, and in all likelihood he’ll be gone by the beginning of the 2024 season. If the Patriots choose not to keep him around, it makes it all the more likely they maneuver for a long-term signal-caller this offseason. That could come in the draft, free agency or through a trade.

The Patriots last picked up a fifth-year option in 2021, locking Isaiah Wynn into a deal for the 2022 season.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

Featured image via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images