Patriots are already making big mistake with Drake Maye this offseason

Ridiculous to keep your best quarterback on the pine
New England Patriots OTA Offseason Workout
New England Patriots OTA Offseason Workout / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

The New England Patriots post-Tom Brady continues to make decisions like, well ... the New England Patriots. Like Bill Belichick before him, Eliot Wolf, the Patriots' personnel head, hasn't yet realized the importance of having a bonafide left tackle on the team. It's a huge offseason blunder.

Yet, that gaffe could be superseded by an even greater one that may unfold on the Gillette Stadium practice fields. That blunder involves their star rookie quarterback from the University of North Carolina, Drake Maye on whom they expended a lofty third overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft.

Reports from Foxborough indicate that Head Coach, Jerod Mayo and his team are relegating the rookie phenom to third-fiddle in the hierarchy of the team's quarterbacks thus far in OTAs. This is the latest in the team's long string of bewildering moves after they head-scratchingly and bone-headedly jettisoned Tom Brady. Let's explore why this is a lousy idea.

Drake Maye should be the Patriots' starting quarterback now

The rookie Maye should be getting all the first-team reps at all the camps without exception. The reason is simple: he's the team's best quarterback and will be when the season starts in September, and he should start. The limiting of his reps in practice thus far is a farce.

It is a pathetic attempt to desperately justify the outrageous expenditure of $8M on free agent journeyman quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Signing Brissett came before the team drafted Maye, and they're now trying to paper over the ludicrous nature of that outlay of solid money for a backup.

Brissett was a feel-good story, returning to the team that drafted him and all. But that's as far as it went. It was folly to sign him to a big contract when it was crystal clear you would draft a rookie quarterback probably in the first two rounds, and he had to play. Drafting Maye third overall makes that obligatory.

Any team's prime objective is one thing, and one thing only, to win. Anything else is secondary. Drake Maye, raw as he may be, gives the Patriots the best chance to win. There is absolutely no doubt about that. He should get all the first-team reps all the time.

Drake Maye was a huge investment and playing him makes the best sense

When you expend a third pick overall in an NFL draft, the player, whatever the position, has to start from Day One. There's no other option. Otherwise, he wasn't worthy of that lofty pick, and you're casting aspersions on your decision-making, as Eliot Wolf and Jerod Mayo are now.

Also, should this be the team's way of "easing" Maye into the starting role, it's also fallacious. A rookie, especially when he's under center, needs all the reps against NFL competition he can get. Doing anything else is screaming for a ticket to the unemployment line.

Drake Maye gives the Patriots the best chance to win in 2024, his lack of experience notwithstanding. Maye is a dual-threat quarterback who can really run. He'll need to since Wolf neglected to provide any left tackles. His mobility will help immensely.

Additionally, owner Bob Kraft said he wanted a young quarterback around whom to build. Bravo! You got one. Now, not playing him is a shoddy decision on a whole host of levels, not the least of which is disappointing your owner/boss. It's just a terrible idea.

All this adds up to one thing: it makes all the sense in the world to give Drake Maye all the first-team reps during the entire pre-season. This will at least provide grounding, from which to start him from the first pre-season game to the last game of the season.

The Patriots only have Drake Maye on short money for four years. They should see what he can do and at least get their money's worth at a reasonable cost. If he's as good as he probably will be, they'll pay through the nose for him after year four. Not giving him all the preparatory time he needs now is ridiculous.

They should do the right thing and let the young man play. I can't see how they'll regret it.

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