Who Will Play Quarterback for the New England Patriots in 2021?

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Hosted by
Andrew Frates

Boston sports fan since 1988. I love baseball, I hate ALS. #StrikeOutALS

Who will play quarterback for the New England Patriots in 2021?

Is it you? Is it me? Because we know it’s not Cam Newton.

There are four ways to acquire a new Quarterback in the NFL – Draft, Free Agency, Trade, and Develop a QB already on your roster. Let’s examine the Patriots’ options for each.

QBs on the roster

Let’s start with the obvious – Cam Newton will not be under center for the New England Patriots in 2021. His 2020 campaign has been a disaster since coming down with COVID-19 and I’d be shocked to see him start the rest of the 2020 season. I’m surprised, like many others, that Belichick hasn’t looked to Stidham earlier to get some game experience. This would help him properly evaluate the Auburn kid for the 2021 season and beyond.

Brian Hoyer, 35-year-old, 12-year, 8-team (on his 3rd stint with the Pats) NFL journeyman, is a free agent at the end of the year.

Something to keep in mind is that Josh McDaniels could very well be on his way to Los Angeles to head up that talented Chargers roster with a STUD at QB in Justin Hebert. Furthermore, Patriots QB coach Jedd Fisch is taking the University of Arizona job.

There could be a lot of turnover in that Quarterback room in Foxboro, both with players and coaches.

Free Agents

You can find the full list of Free Agent Quarterbacks here, but I’ll highlight a few I think would be a good fit. Ideally, the Free Agent QB should be a bridge QB while the newly-drafted QB develops.

From Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports

Jacoby Brissett – Former Patriots back-up knows the system and would step right in to give a boost at the position. He’s not too expensive and he’s developed in Indianapolis. Check out his stats in 2019 the last time he was a full time starter – 60.9% completion, 2942 yards, 18 passing TDs/4 rushing TDs to only 6 INTs. The Patriots would be 8-6 season with those stats this year.

Tyrod Taylor – Tyrod (also known as TyGod) could also be that stopgap Quarterback while a drafted guy develops. That’s what the Chargers were doing with him before a doctor mishap forced Herbert to play earlier than expected.

Ryan Fitzpatrick – The definition of a journeyman quarterback would complete his AFC East tour if this were to happen. FitzMagic is a gunslinger who can make all the throws, unlike the Patriots QBs this year. However, he usually needs talent around him to force the ball to. The Patriots currently don’t have a player like that on the roster. That’s a different topic for a different day.

Trade

Trades rarely happen in the NFL, especially for the QB position. Patriots fans will remember their last QB trades of Drew Bledsoe to the Bills and Matt Cassel to the Chiefs. Not going to go into each player’s contract situation, but here are some trade targets for the Patriots. Again, ideally as a bridge for a drafted QB.

Marcus Mariota – Filled in very nicely for Derek Carr the other night on Thursday Night Football. The former #2 overall pick still has some athleticism and showed great touch on a ball to Darren Waller.

From Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports

Matt Ryan – The rumors of the Falcons moving on from the Boston College product would be great news for the Patriots. He’d give the Patriots immediate Top 12 Quarterback play. Not sure how the contract would shake out, but always something to consider with Belichick.

Matt Stafford – Similar to Matt Ryan above, the former #1 pick out of Georgia has been rumored to be available from Detroit.

Draft

Onto the good stuff. This where the New England Patriots need to invest time, resources, and capital; there is no clear direction for the QB position. I’m a huge college football fan and have watched many of these guys play this year.

Let me start by saying I would mortgage a lot of future draft picks to trade up for #1 and draft Trevor Lawrence. I’ve been a huge fan of his since he was a freshman, and he’s done nothing to convince me otherwise. He’s a special player who would make everyone around him better, a la Tom Brady. I’m happy the Patriots won’t have to face off against him in the division for the next two decades, since the Jets stupidly won a game.

The Patriots currently select pick 15, which is obviously outside of the Trevor Lawrence lottery. It looks like they’ll be in the mix for the 3rd, 4th, or 5th ranked QB in the first couple rounds and a few late round flyers.

Early Round QBs

Kyle Trask, Florida – Old school pocket passer who can make every throw. Not going to beat you with his feet and would need a much better supporting cast than N’Keal Harry and Damiere Byrd. Still a raw prospect who’s only in his second year as a starter since his sophomore year of high school. Would need a year or two on the bench.

From Jeff Hanisch, USA TODAY Sports

Zach Wilson, BYU – Quality passer with above average athleticism. Think a taller Baker Mayfield. Another guy I think could use a year on the bench to add some weight to his fram,e but could’ve played himself into a Top 5 pick with his Boca Raton Bowl performance yesterday against UCF – 26/34 425 yards, 5 total TDs.

Mac Jones, Alabama – A beneficiary of all the talent around him at Alabama. Najee Harris, Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle are arguably better than what the Patriots have on their roster at those skill positions right now. Still, he’s been flawless in leading this team to the College Football Playoff and is considered a 3rd-4th round pick.

Late Round QBs

Ian Book, Notre Dame – Winner. Most wins at the prestigious Notre Dame.

Kellen Mond, Texas A&M – My sleeper here. Made huge strides in 2020 to become more accurate and a stellar athlete that can escape pressure and make plays.

From Sean Gardner, Getty Images)

Sam Ehlinger, Texas – With Jalen Hurts’ sudden success, I see him in the same mold. Understands the pressures of big time athletics coming from the University of Texas.

Closing Argument

My buddy texted me about Jimmy Garoppolo potentially getting cut and coming back, which I know has caught steam on talk radio. I’d rather see the New England Patriots bring back Brissett or sign Tyrod to bridge the gap for Kyle Trask, Zach Wilson or Kellen Mond for a year. As far as Cam Newton’s future goes, it’s not with the New England Patriots. Hopefully he’ll land somewhere as a backup and can get healthy, if that’s what’s wrong with him.

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Episode 109