Avoid: Baker Mayfield, 2024 NFL Free Agency
Speaking of a stopgap, the Patriots could also choose the route of a veteran free agent journeyman like Baker Mayfield. He might not be the long-term answer, but he's a fine starter for an interim period of time before the team lands their franchise passer.
Again, because fans don't deserve a building year, this isn't the route to go. That's not to say Mayfield is a bad quarterback. He's actually played very well this year, and the Bucs may very well keep him aboard. After all, he's coming off the game of his life this last week against Green Bay, which saw him throw for 381 yards and four touchdowns.
If he's let go, though, then he'd be let go for a reason and maybe that reason is that he's simply a good, journeyman quarterback, but not good enough. The Patriots have to figure out the future of the position after failing with Mac Jones, and Mayfield doesn't scream "franchise quarterback."