Another year, another Mac Jones controversy. After Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner claimed Jones hit him in the private parts in Week 3's game, the Patriots quarterback has yet again gotten off the hook.
In the Patriots' latest win over the Jets, Jones drew the ire of fans across the league when Gardner alleged that Jones had intentionally taken a cheap shot in the direction of Gardner's groin. The Jets corner even released a video of the incident to justify his claim and so that he wouldn't get fined for his retaliatory shove of Jones afterward.
Following days of deliberation, the NFL ultimately deemed Gardner's video not sufficient enough to prove that Jones was in the wrong and announced Jones would not be fined. Nor did the NFL fine Gardner for forcefully shoving Jones afterward, which will make fans scratch their heads.
If Jones supposedly didn't make a dirty play, then Gardner's shove of Jones should be considered over-the-top and the Jets defender should have gotten slapped with a fine. Rather than hand out little slaps on the wrist, though, the league seems content with just calling everything square and pushing it under the rug.
Patriots QB Mac Jones could get away with murder
Jones has been on the offending side of dirty plays for far too long in his NFL career for this spat with Gardner to be merely brushed off.
From his ankle-twisting play on Panthers' Brian Burns to his illegal hit on Bengals' Eli Apple, the Patriots quarterback has a propensity for cheap and dirty tricks that makes him one of the most easily hateable players in the league.
Jones did get fined for his low hit on Apple last year, which would imply that the NFL does, in fact, care about player safety. To see Jones' name lit up in neon lights again for a "cup-check", out of all things, only further tars his name and makes fans wonder if the NFL only punishes Jones when pressured to. His hit on Apple in 2022 was clearly backed up by video evidence.
The evidence is less clear in Gardner's tweeted video, but someone with Jones' past shouldn't get the benefit of the doubt.