3. Gardner Minshew, 2024 free agent
Someone who I have been a huge fan of for a while is Gardner Minshew, who has taken over as the QB1 for the Indianapolis Colts as Anthony Richardson is out for they year. Minshew is about as good as a team can get with a backup QB, and he's primarily played QB for the only team in the entire NFL to score at least 20 points in every game this year.
He's also got starting experience at the beginning of his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In nine games this year, Minshew has thrown for 1,527 yards, eight touchdowns, and five interceptions. He's got a serviceable passer rating of 85.5 and across his career, which spans 41 games, Minshew has thrown for 52 touchdowns, 20 interceptions, and has earned a rating of 91.6.
Minshew is precisely the kind of QB the Patriots should covet if they need a short-term starter and someone who can provide stability at the position. The nice thing about Mayfield and Minshew is that neither are going to cost more than $10 million if I had to guess. This number would be on a one-year deal. Pairing a rookie QB with any one of these passers would really be a legitimate solution for the New England Patriots, and what's nice is all three have won in the league before, so starting these QBs isn't punting on the season by any means.