The New England Patriots and quarterback Mac Jones went their separate ways this offseason, which opened the door for the 25-year-old to bring a childhood dream to life.

Jones, who New England picked 15th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, didn’t work out after a promising rookie season with the Patriots. Instability in the team’s coaching staff and roster dragged Jones to rock bottom in 2023. So when the offseason came around, as New England owns the No. 3 overall pick in April’s upcoming draft, it made sense to sever ties.

But to get traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team Jones grew up rooting for as a kid, adds the cherry on top of his clean slate in 2024.

“Love this place, it’s my hometown,” Jones told reporters during Thursday’s introductory press conference with the Jaguars, per team-provided video. “… Obviously coming to the games and growing up as a fan, and seeing all the good times and some of the bad times, obviously it was important for me to fulfill my dream of playing in the NFL and obviously had a great opportunity in New England and can’t thank them enough, but happy to be here. As a kid from Jacksonville, it’s a dream come true.”

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The Patriots traded Jones to the Jaguars in exchange for a 2024 sixth-round pick, which became official Thursday.

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Jones played high school football at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida. During his senior season, Jones threw for 1,532 yards with 29 touchdowns, leading the school to a Florida 4A title before heading off to Alabama.

Although Jones is slated to take a back seat and play backup to starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Jones believes the right choice was made — both for him and the Patriots moving forward.

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“Obviously, we kind of just decided the mutual parting of ways was the best decision for both of us. For me, it was just about moving on and getting back home, and I can’t be more excited,” Jones added, per the Jaguars. “And for them, it’s about moving forward and turning the page. So really, that’s kind of what we decided, and I think it’s a great decision.”

Jones played 11 games, throwing for 2,120 passing yards with 10 touchdowns and 12 interceptions during his final campaign in New England.

Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images