The New England Patriots’ offseason is almost two months old — their final regular season game came on Jan. 3 — and we haven’t really heard a peep in terms of who they plan to pursue and part ways with once the start of the new league year arrives.
Given the significance of the position, fans are fully engrossed with the Patriots’ ongoing search for a new quarterback.
After all, it will likely end up being the deciding factor in terms of whether they make the playoffs next season.
At this stage of the offseason, the Patriots have been linked with seemingly every QB on the trade and free agent market, and the latest buzz confirms that they’ve done their due diligence on some of the big-named gunslingers — like Matthew Stafford and Carson Wentz — who were recently made available via trade.
According to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, the Patriots have been “aggressively” pursuing the quarterback market, which suggests that a blockbuster trade isn’t out of the equation.
The report also claims, however, that they’ve yet to emerge as serious contenders for anybody as a result of the inflated market.
A new report from The Athletic confirms the Patriots’ interest in trading for an elite quarterback.
“So far, the Patriots have been disciplined in their approach,” writes Howe. “They spoke to the Lions about Stafford and to the Eagles regarding Wentz, but the Patriots weren’t serious contenders for either quarterback due to the asking price.
“As it was expressed to The Athletic, if a quarterback has been perceived to be available, the Patriots have picked up the phone. The asking price of any of the available quarterbacks has not been disclosed.
“It’s understandable why the Patriots haven’t been willing to meet those demands, as the trade candidates outside of (Deshaun) Watson and (Russell) Wilson — if those two are even realistically available — aren’t sure things as franchise quarterbacks.”
In essence, the Patriots have been pushing the envelope to find a new quarterback, but they simply aren’t going to conform to the market, which is benefitting the seller at the moment.
However, the fact they reportedly inquired about both Stafford and Wentz proves that the front office is aware of the team’s need for an elite quarterback. That should be a no-brainer realization, but let’s not pretend New England hasn’t established a reputation for holding out for the best possible offer before making their move.
If the Patriots reach out to other teams with the intent of orchestrating a trade, they rarely hang up with the phone with a deal in place. Given that sellers will likely trim their asking price if they fail to gain traction between now and the start of the new league year, the Patriots’ disciplined approach could be what lands them their preferred guy when all is said and done.
Whatever happens, this report makes it seem like New England (in a perfect world) would prefer to formulate a trade for a high-profile quarterback before they consider browsing the free agent market. Assuming that’s the case, they better hope that prices come down in the next few weeks, because their reported conservative approach doesn’t align with the current market.