The New England Patriots find themselves at a crossroads. They are devoid of talent everywhere on this roster, their once "thought-to-be" franchise quarterback will most likely not be back next year, and their head coach of 24 years will no longer be on the sideline.
Cue Charles Bradley's song, Changes, "I'm going through changes!" The Patriots are going through changes, big ones. It seems like every day, there is a new report on the direction of this new team. Whether it be regarding ideas on how they'll spend their free agency money, who they will pick for this upcoming draft, or even if they make any trades.
This offseason is the first of its kind since 2001 because there have never been so many unknowns going into the offseason. That said, let's do our best to dwindle the unknowns down to the top four going into the 2024 NFL offseason.
Massive unknown: Who is going to play quarterback?
Yes. We all knew I would start here. This massive unknown comes as no surprise. The Patriots are in disarray and are out of sync. They haven't had a reliable play-caller behind the line since Tom Brady.
Cam Newton wasn't it. Mac Jones wasn't it. Bailey Zappe isn't it. Malik Cunningham could have, maybe, been it if Bill hadn't opted to cut him out of nowhere.
The fact of the matter is that this team has no current answer for its quarterback woes. Luckily, the offseason offers a lot of different strategies.
Option one is for the Patriots to draft a quarterback. I am on the record saying I don't believe the Patriots should reach for Jayden Daniels with the third pick, but the kid is immensely talented, and I'd love to get him at a different value. Other quarterbacks include Michael Penix Jr., JJ McCarthy, Bo Nix, and Michael Pratt. The Patriots have seven picks this upcoming draft and could use one of them to find their quarterback of the future.
Option two is that the Patriots use part of their projected $73M in cap room to acquire a free-agent quarterback during the free-agent period. Quarterbacks Kirk Cousins, Ryan Tannehill, Baker Mayfield, Gardiner Minshew, and Jameis Winston will be available, just to name a few. This idea isn't awful, as the Pats could look to reload the offense with weapons via the draft and find a bridge quarterback via free agency.
Option three is the Patriots' trade for Justin Fields. I was tempted to say, "The Patriots trade for a quarterback," but let's be honest... if the Patriots are slinging a trade, it's going to be for Fields. I'm not as high on Fields as I once was, but I think his play has been more of a product of his environment than his ineptness on the field.
Well, there you have it; three options are on the table. No one has any idea what this team is going to do. Unluckily for the Patriots, the quarterback position is the most important position in professional sports. Teams with lousy quarterback play don't win Championships. This is a massive unknown going into the 2024 offseason. It's also one that fans are more than excited to find out.