Mac Jones is stepping into the fashion game.
While chatting with PEOPLE about his involvement with the "My Cause My Cleats" initiative in partnership with Gillette, the New England Patriots quarterback defended his sense of style in response to a comment made by fellow teammate Matthew Judon.
At the beginning of the year, the Patriots linebacker threw shade at his QB's fashion choices during a press conference. While Judon was sporting a stylish reversible coat with a custom gold necklace, he had quite the quip when asked about his pal's fashion choices.
"It's a lost cause," Judon said after a commanding win against the Jacksonville Jaguars in January. "I'm gonna keep it 100. Mac is a footballer player and that's about it. He's a great guy, football player, but drip? It's not him, man."
Meanwhile, Jones told PEOPLE ahead of the initiative (which centers around the customization of cleats for a charitable cause) what he'd like to tell Judon now. "I'd say, 'I have good fashion,' " he proudly declares.
Despite "not really" putting any thought into what he wears when he's not donning a uniform, saying "I just wear what I wear," the first-round 2021 NFL Draft pick reveals he's now combining "fashion with football cleats and turning it into something cool."
While Jones was stoked to team up with renowned visual artist Joshua Vides to customize a pair of cleats that he'll debut on the field at the Thursday Night Football game on Dec. 1 (and pictured below), he says that the "coolest part [of the initiative] is the kids."
"Vides is very famous for his work, so he's doing his traditional look," Jones explains of the artist's iconic black and white designs. "But I obviously want to make it about the Boys and Girls Club and the kids."
This marks the second year Jones has been involved with the NFL's "My Cause My Cleats." The initiative allows players, coaches and staff to create a custom pair of cleats inspired by their chosen philanthropies.
Last year, the QB represented the Boston Children's Hospital with bright blue cleats. This year, he's stepping onto the field in support of the Boys & Girls Club in Jordan, Massachusetts. All the proceeds will benefit the nonprofit organization and Gillette will match the final auction total.
Jones' return to the initiative stems from his desire to want to give back to the community, as he says that raising awareness has "always been important to me." He continues, "So to get a chance to do it again, but for the Jordan Boys and Girls Club, I'm super excited about it."
And Vides tells PEOPLE that Jones was very enthusiastic about giving back to the community.
"Working with Mac was great as his passion around giving back to the youth really shines through," Vides says. "We leaned into his experiences from his visits to Boys & Girls Club in Jordan, while also encapsulating that smooth Gillette touch to match his play on the field."
As for the cleat creation process? Jones says that he has to "obviously have the logo on there," but notes that he let the kids take the reins. "The coolest part was the kids and asking them what the Boys and Girls Club means to them."
He adds, "Some people brought up a sunflower or a heart. That's what comes to mind for them. So hopefully we can incorporate that in there," Jones says prior to the cleat completion. "They even mentioned putting the zip code on there."
Vides adds: "While not everything made it into the final rounds of edits, it was a unique experience to have drawn all these different perspectives, from an NFL quarterback to children half our ages, and come up with a final product that will go back to something much bigger than football."
While football fans will have to wait until the Dec. 1 game against the Buffalo Bills to see the on-field debut of Jones' new kicks, the athlete is confident that his cleats "will be cool."
Plus — regarding his fashion sense — he's "hopefully" confident that "Judon will change his mind."