3 free agent quarterbacks the Patriots could sign this offseason

New York Giants v New England Patriots
New York Giants v New England Patriots / Jim Rogash/GettyImages
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The Patriots’ quarterback situation seems to be up in the air at the moment. When Mac Jones was at Jerod Mayo’s press conference, it was assumed that he and Mayo were happy to be working together. But it turned out Jones had just left the gym at Gillette Stadium and popped in for a coffee.

There’s a lot of chatter about the new coaching team wanting to draft a quarterback and Jayden Daniels’ name is high on the list. But going with a first-year head coach and a rookie quarterback is a bold move, and it doesn’t typically turn out like the 2023 Texans.

So, maybe Jerod Mayo and Co. would prefer an old head under center?

New Patriots offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt worked with five different starting quarterbacks and found surprising success with a 39-year-old Joe Flacco. Flacco is actually available in free agency. But you have to believe it’s unlikely Jerod Mayo would want a quarterback two years older than he is. 

Here are three free-agent quarterbacks New England could actually be interested in. 

Kirk Cousins 

He’s won 42 games in the last five seasons, compared to the Patriots, who have won 41 in that same span. So that’s already an improvement and Cousins missed nine games last season due to injury. 

He might not be the most exciting quarterback available in free agency; you could argue that’s Jameis Winston. But after the last two seasons, no Patriots fan is prepared to ride the Winston rollercoaster. Cousins is what passes for a safe pair of hands in this free-agent class.  

Over the last five seasons, Cousins has thrown 141 touchdowns and just 42 interceptions. The Patriots have thrown 96 touchdowns and 71 interceptions. So even if people who aren’t fans of Cousins could argue, he wouldn’t be an upgrade. 

He will be the most expensive option available, though, and he’s 36, so he isn’t a long-term solution. But the Patriots are projected to have over $66 million in cap space. Cousins would likely cost about $36 million. A solid quarterback would at least buy Jerod Mayo some time to find his feet as a head coach. A rookie quarterback could make his job pretty stressful. 

Cousins' 2023 season ended on IR, though, after he tore his Achilles tendon. He should be fully recovered by OTAs in May, but Sports Illustrated quoted him as saying, “Will I ever play football again?”