Now that we're officially in the NFL postseason, the teams who weren't lucky enough to make it this year are already focusing on free agency and the draft. Unfortunately, that includes the Patriots. So, on top of the countless mock drafts that have been published in recent weeks, there are also many predictions regarding free agents they should sign to bolster their roster for the 2024 season.
Most have involved adding a top-name wide receiver like Mike Evans, Tee Higgins, or Michael Pittman Jr., while others, like a new article from Bleacher Report, have the Patriots taking a veteran quarterback to stabilize their offense moving forward.
Despite the overwhelming demand from Patriots fans for the team to draft a quarterback instead of signing/trading for a veteran bridge QB, there is a comforting feeling around the idea of going with a seasoned player in free agency, allowing the rookie to learn from.
That appears to be the case in Erik Beaston's latest predictions, as he has New England signing Kirk Cousins to a deal up to three years as one of their first moves of the new era.
"Look for the Patriots to be a player as they look to move into a new, post-Bill Belichick era."
Would signing Kirk Cousins be a good idea for the Patriots?
Considering he is one of the best available free-agent quarterbacks this year, it wouldn't be a horrific idea for Jerod Mayo (or whoever the general manager ends up being) to bring Cousins in on a short-term deal. Although he isn't the most accomplished, he's a trusted veteran who could put the Patriots' offense on track and help them win some games sooner rather than later.
Then, of course, comes the mentoring part that the team would benefit from. The assumption is they will draft a quarterback, whether third overall or early in the second. Because Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe aren't exactly the type of players who should be helping younger quarterbacks learn the lay of the land in the NFL, Cousins would be a better fit for that role.
On the other hand, spending nearly $40 million a year on a soon-to-be 36-year-old quarterback coming off an Achilles injury doesn't sound all that appealing. And because Robert Kraft stressed his desire to see the team get back to winning, is it really the best idea to bring in a bridge quarterback in hopes of winning in the short term? That's what signing Cousins would be.
The best move remains to draft a quarterback and build around him for the future. Sure, a veteran could help you win now, but Cousins has a lot working against him that doesn't guarantee that winning will be inevitable.
On top of that, if Mayo hopes to begin a new era and create an identity for the Patriots post-Brady and Belichick, bringing in an aging, average quarterback doesn't do the trick. It signals more of a temporary fix, with fingers crossed it works out better than anticipated, rather than building a culture and a roster that works and grows together for the long run.
The Patriots had a hard time winning this season, but you won't at DraftKings! All you have to do is sign up, deposit $10 or more and then bet $5 or more on any NFL Playoff game this weekend. You'll instantly win $200 in bonus bets! Sign up with DraftKings today.