Patriots legend warns team against starting Drake Maye in 2024

New England Patriots OTA Offseason Workout
New England Patriots OTA Offseason Workout / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

After the Mac Jones era didn't go as planned, there is a lot of debate about whether Drake Maye should be named the Patriots starter for the 2024 season or if he should sit for a year to learn from Jacoby Brissett.

It's not an uncommon decision for a team to make with their rookie quarterback, especially if the team is not in a position to win in the immediate future. The Patriots are fortunate to have a solid bridge player in Brissett that allows them the luxury of sitting Maye if they want to, but it's not something that has been decided as of yet.

According to offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, the plan remains to have Brissett start Week 1, with Maye serving as his backup. But the young player has been making big strides through spring practices, moving from getting third-string reps to now getting almost the same as Brissett, which might mean he could bump him out of his role if he continues to impress.

Given that their 2024 schedule is tough, it might be best to keep Maye on the bench until later in the season, at the very least, and if not, hold off until next year. It's a highly debated topic in New England amongst fans and reporters.

But now, a former player is voicing his opinion, and he hopes the Patriots will ultimately decide to keep Maye off the field until 2025.

Rodney Harrison doesn't want to see Drake Maye start for the Patriots this year

Because the Patriots have found it difficult to win since Tom Brady left the team four years ago, many view Maye as their best chance to be a competitive team again, prompting their desire to see him be the starter immediately.

However, there are benefits to waiting a year before putting a young quarterback on the field, which Rodney Harrison would like to see for Maye, citing their schedule as the main reason. The Patriots legend appeared on MassLive's "Eye On Foxborough" podcast this week and spoke about what he would do if he were in charge for the upcoming season

“You don’t want to throw him out (there). And I don’t have the defense’s in front of me, but I know like the first six weeks of the season, he’s going to be playing against a lot of really good defenses. And if it’s me, I’m putting Jacoby Brissett out there.

I might have Drake learn as much as he possibly can. And then in a relief role if he needs to come in — if a guy gets hurt or something like that — he’ll be ready. But I wouldn’t throw him right out there to the wolves like that. It’s a completely different game coming from North Carolina to being in the National Football League.”

He certainly makes fair points and his thought process is likely in line with that of the new regime, who knew they were going to draft a quarterback but still made sure to bring in a veteran like Brissett.

It's still too early to make definitive decisions about the position, but because the Patriots are not expected to make a playoff push this year, it seems more sensible to hold off on putting Maye on the field for as long as possible, even more so with so many questions surrounding their offensive line.

It won't be a popular decision and might receive some backlash, but if it's what is best for the team, for Maye and his development, then that's more important than anything.

More Patriots coverage: