Patriots like Baker Mayfield, how Pro Bowl gunslinger could change the QB plan

Patriots once again linked to Baker Mayfield
Impending NFL free agent QB Baker Mayfield
Impending NFL free agent QB Baker Mayfield / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

The New England Patriots may be in a position to draft one of the top 3 quarterback prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft, but with over $100 million in cap space there is another path the team could take to upgrade the position. They could bring in one of the top impending quarterback free agents, which could be Baker Mayfield.

With the Patriots looking to reshape the quarterback position by adding a veteran and drafting a quarterback at No. 3, Mayfield would be a solid addition if the plan is to sit that quarterback for a year or two.  But is that what Mayfield is looking for at this point in his career?

Following a breakout season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2023, Mayfield is high on the list for teams on the market for a quarterback.  His toughness, grit, arm talent, and the fact that he is just 27 years old make him an intriguing option for teams like the Patriots, Falcons, Buccaneers, and possibly Vikings. 

But if the Patriots have interest, could that lead to a different plan?

Patriots have interest in Baker Mayfield, but would he make sense in New England?

What made Mayfield so special in 2023 is he had a top target like Mike Evans to throw to.  With the connections and familiarity, he has with members of the Patriots coaching staff and front office, like offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt and front office guru Eliot Wolf, there could be a more long-term plan for Mayfield if the team signs him.

By long-term, I’m talking a three-year deal that would then allow the team to draft a talent like Marvin Harrison Jr. with the No. 3 pick and then select a quarterback in the second or third round to sit and learn behind Mayfield.

Who knows, they may also be able to lore Evans to Foxborough if they sign Mayfield.

This is where NFL Draft prospects like Washington’s Michael Penix Jr., Oregon’s Bo Nix and Carolina’s Spencer Rattler comes into play.  Each player has the talent to be an NFL starter but may not be ready to step in right away.  With Van Pelt’s experience with grooming young quarterbacks, Mayfield included, this could be a path the Patriots take.  A way that would at least stabilize the quarterback position after the Mac Jones failed experiment.

Now, if you are a betting man, I would bet on the team drafting either LSU’s Jayden Daniels or North Carolina’s Drake Maye with that No. 3 overall pick, but the Patriots are not doomed if they don’t select a quarterback that high.  A player like Mayfield on the market at least gives them other options and a more realistic chance of competing in 2024 because of the team they could build around him with their position in the draft and the spending power.

How a Baker Mayfield signing open other possibilities for the Patriots

To take this a bit further, another option would be to trade back with that No. 3 pick, select a quarterback with similar toughness to Mayfield, like Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy and gain even more draft capital, perhaps even a 2025 first-rounder.  Imagine how fun a quarterback room of Mayfield and McCarthy would be. 

When thinking of the Patriots going the route of a veteran starter and drafting a young quarterback, what the Green Bay Packers did with Jordan Love comes to mind.  Mayfield and even Kirk Cousins (if they have interest) are not on the level of Aaron Rodgers, at least in his prime, but they would give the team a shot at competing while developing a QB who would be ready to take over the reins down the road vs a rookie quarterback thrown to the lions right out the gate in 2024.

This is not as fun as that Maye vs. Daniels debate, but as a Patriots fan, the idea or possibility of Mayfield, along with adding playmakers around him, is nothing to lose sleep over.

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