Six potential quarterback replacements for the New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, MA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jarrett Stidham #4 of the New England Patriots prepares to throw during the fourth quarter of a game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jarrett Stidham #4 of the New England Patriots prepares to throw during the fourth quarter of a game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images) /

With Tom Brady’s future unknown, here are six replacement quarterbacks the New England Patriots could seek out should their veteran leave in free agency.

Jarrett Stidham

By far the cheapest option on the list, Jarrett Stidham could see himself thrust into the starting position next season if the New England Patriots choose not to spend cap space or draft capital on bringing in a new quarterback.

Despite struggling in the limited regular season playing time he was given as a rookie, Stidham showed promise in the preseason, putting up 731 passing yards and four passing touchdowns over the course of the entire preseason.

Whether or not Stidham was just inflating numbers against second and third-string defenses is yet to be seen, but with New England facing an expensive offseason ahead, Stidham’s six-figure salary could play a big reason in him being named starter.

Philip Rivers

The Los Angeles Chargers announced Monday afternoon that Philip Rivers would not be returning to the team for the 2020 season. With this news out, it’s not too farfetched to expect a direct QB swap between the Pats and Chargers, with Tom Brady showing interest in landing in L.A.

Being the not-so-ripe age of 38, Rivers would likely only serve as a stopgap for New England while they search for a younger QB to build their future around.

Should the Patriots take this one or two-year replacement route, history shows Rivers is likely the best man for the job. Despite showing some serious signs of regression last season, he still managed to finish fourth in the league in passing yards.

The main problem with Rivers would be that he once again gives New England a ticking time-bomb at quarterback who could regress into obscurity at any moment — the same situation they’ve been dealing with for the past few years under Brady.

Teddy Bridgewater

It seems like the New Orleans Saints have gone all-in with Taysom Hill as their backup QB for the foreseeable future. This means we should see Bridgewater hit the open market this season, and he could be a target the Patriots look at to replace Brady.

At 27 years old, Bridgewater is a question mark. He kicked off his career with some mediocre play in Minnesota but was able to lead the Vikings to the playoffs in 2015. That offseason, he tore his ACL in training camp and hasn’t seen a full-time starting role since.

Now a member of the Saints, he started five games in 2019 while Drew Brees was out with a hand injury. New Orleans won all five of those games, though only one came against a team that finished the year with a winning record.

Still, Bridgewater played his part in those wins, throwing for 1,205 yards and nine touchdowns over the five starts.

If Bridgewater is looking to turn these solid performances into a starting job, New England may be the place to look. It’s just a matter of whether or not the Patriots are willing to take a gamble on the mystery box that is Teddy Bridgewater.

Andy Dalton

After nine seasons, the Red Rifle seems to be on his way out of Cincinnati thanks to the impending arrival of LSU QB Joe Burrow. There’s a reason for this, and it’s that Dalton has not been good in any of the past two seasons… at least.

Despite this, there seems to be a belief that New England will pursue the Texas-born QB.

There could be reasons for this. If the Patriots want to go after experience in the free agency class, it seems as if Dalton would be one of the top guys available. He’s made appearances in four playoff games and has started 133 games thus far in his career.

Still, Dalton’s skill doesn’t exactly stand out. But with a solid arsenal of weapons surrounding him and a decent offensive line, Dalton could be the most surefire QB out there on the market.

Jordan Love

Free Agency is not the only place to find a new starting quarterback. Holding the 23rd overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, the possibility of the Patriots taking a shot at a new franchise QB early seems promising.

New England has only ever drafted four quarterbacks in the first round, the most recent being Drew Bledsoe — who of course went first overall in the 1993 NFL Draft. So while it seems unlikely that a QB will go that high in a Belichick draft, there are a couple of names that could be available by the time New England is on the clock on April 23rd.

The first of those players is Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. There are questions on if Love will be available at pick no. 23, as his draft stock has risen over the past few months despite a struggling season for the Aggies.

I highly recommend reading this piece by John Newman of FanSided’s NFLMocks page. He does an incredible job breaking down each aspect of Love’s game and how he sees Love fitting into the NFL during the early stages of his career.

Next. Will Tom Brady come back to the Patriots?. dark

Jake Fromm

Jake Fromm is a junior quarterback from Georgia who declared to the NFL Draft back in January.

Fromm was projected to go very early, even as high as the top-10 in this year’s draft back towards the start of the college season. However, an admittedly mediocre season has tanked his draft stock to a likely Day Two pick now.

I don’t think Fromm at pick no. 23 would be a reach, however. Fromm already has all the tools you want in a starting QB. Fromm is not the kind of player who is going to lose you games. He limits his mistakes by playing a more passive game, relying more on a strong run game and shorter routes — but he’s still able to air it out when needed.

Remind you of anybody?

I’m not saying Fromm is going to turn into Tom Brady, but if he can develop a more consistent arm, Fromm could turn out to be one of the top quarterbacks in the league for years to come.