Patriots: NFL Draft insider sheds light on potential QB plans for NE
By Jerry Trotta
The New England Patriots are currently searching for their third starting quarterback in as many seasons, and they simply must find an upgrade to Cam Newton, who threw for just eight touchdowns and averaged 177.1 passing yards per game as the starter this past campaign.
If you recall how underwhelming Newton was, it seems fairly simple to determine that the best option for the Patriots would be to trade for an established commodity or draft a top prospect in the first round instead of signing another veteran stopgap.
Well, according to sources close to draft scout Matt Miller, however, the Patriots aren’t planning to use their No. 15 overall pick — or any early-round selection, for that matter — on a quarterback.
Instead, they seem keen on signing another veteran, whether it be through trade or free agency.
We’re gonna go out on a limb and say this isn’t what everyone was expecting, so how are we feeling about this, Patriots fans?
The Patriots might not end up drafting a quarterback after all.
In a vacuum, adding a veteran would give the Patriots the best chance to get back into the playoffs next season. However, there’s no doubt the fan base will be tempering expectations in terms of waiting to see who the front office brings in. After all, they were absolutely ecstatic following the signing of Newton last offseason, and he looked disheveled under center in some games.
That begs the question of whether New England will take to free agency or the trade market to find their new starter. It goes without saying that the latter option will give them more choices — like Carson Wentz, Jimmy Garoppolo, Kirk Cousins, and Marcus Mariota — than the former, as there are arguably zero compelling names with expiring contracts.
However, given how many roster holes the Patriots have, maybe de facto GM Bill Belichick will be stingy with his assets and opt for free agency, where he could choose from guys like Jameis Winston, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jacoby Brissett and Tyrod Taylor.
When you put it like that, fans will undoubtedly prefer a trade, but the point here is this: assuming Miller’s intel is accurate, the Foxborough faithful should adjust their offseason planners, because it’s looking like the Patriots have made up their mind about not drafting a quarterback.
Of course, a lot can change between now and April, so perhaps Belichick is trying to throw other teams off the scent of his real plans. However, knowing how much he wants to get back into contention, opting against drafting a QB is definitely conceivable.