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‘We’re definitely friends now’: Mac Jones squashed beef with Brian Burns at Pro Bowl

Mac Jones Brian Burns Panthers Patriots

FOXBOROUGH – There’s been a lot of bad blood between the Patriots and Panthers this week. But Mac Jones has stayed away from the ruckus.

Numerous fights have broken out, leading to several players getting kicked out of the joint practices on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Jones is one of the very few players that hasn’t gotten in the mix when fights have broken out. The Patriots quarterback has stood off to the side, looking not to get involved in the action.

In one way, Jones not having any beef with any Panthers player this week might be a surprise considering what happened with Panthers defensive end Brian Burns last season. Jones held Burns’ leg during a loose ball when the teams met in 2021, causing Panthers players to call Jones a dirty player and Burns’ fellow edge rushers “happy hunting” when facing the Patriots.

However, Jones and Burns apparently cooled things off a few months after that happened. Jones revealed on Wednesday that he’s on good terms with Burns now.

“Yeah, I talked with Brian. We already made up at the Pro Bowl, and everything’s good,” Mac Jones said. “He’s a great player and I just love watching him on film, like how he can speed-rush. He’s got good power and he’s just a great football player.

“He really doesn’t like to talk, he just kind of keeps getting after it and keeps getting after it and I’m kind of the same way. So, we’re definitely friends now. It’s all good.”

While the beef between Jones and Burns is now water under the bridge, the same can’t be said about any beef between Patriots and Panthers players. Patriots captain Matthew Slater called out Panthers safety Kenny Robinson for his actions after delivering a big hit to Kristian Wilkerson.

Mac Jones didn’t disagree when asked if the fights affected the productivity of practice the last two days. He thought though that rest of his team regrouped well from the incidents.

“I think everyone’s competitive and then sometimes that’s how it gets out here,” Jones said. “The big thing is, it’s football and we’re here to practice and try and have a good day. The coaches handled it properly just calling up the teams.

“Coach [Bill] Belichick obviously gave us good advice about just playing the next play, and play football, and not worry about fighting other people and stuff like that. Just come together and get the good work in that we need to get against a good team.”

The fights ended Wednesday after the coaches huddled up each of their teams to calm things down.

Whether or not the fights carry over into Friday’s preseason game between the two teams remains to be seen. What is more likely to be seen though is Jones playing. The second-year quarterback, along with several other starters, didn’t play in the Patriots’ preseason opener against the Giants last Thursday.

Mac Jones had a simple answer when asked if he wanted to play Friday.

“I hope so,” he said before chuckling.