Mac Jones officially became a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday, and he’ll always maintain his respect for the New England Patriots despite how things ended.

New England traded Jones for a 2024 draft pick, which reportedly is a sixth-round choice. The Patriots reportedly hoped to fetch a fifth-round selection out of the reported four teams who also were in the mix.

The Patriots reportedly informed Jones at the NFL Scouting Combine of their intent to trade him, and the 2021 first-round pick is expected to compete for the backup job with C.J. Beathard behind Trevor Lawrence. It was that openness that Jones seemed to take away in his first news conference as a Jaguar on Thursday.

“I have all the respect in the world for those guys up there. They’re my first team,” Jones told reporters, per Jaguars video. “They drafted me in the first round, can’t thank them enough. Obviously, we decided a mutual parting of ways was the best decision for both of us. For me, it was about moving on and getting back home, and I couldn’t be more excited. And for them, it’s about moving forward and turning the page. Really, that’s kind of what we decided, and I think it’s a great decision.”

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Jones’ former teammate Bailey Zappe seemed to take a shot at him after the report of the trade was released last Sunday. It caused a stir with Patriots fans who still support the 25-year-old despite how poorly his last two seasons went.

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The fourth-year quarterback continued to express praise for New England and was ready to start a new chapter with his hometown team.

Featured image via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images