New England Patriots: Top Three Quarterback Options for 2021
This upcoming draft, the New England Patriots have the 15th overall pick. The last time that the Patriots had pick 15 was in 1983 and they used it to select quarterback Tony Eason out of the University of Illinois. Could history repeat itself after a lackluster season from now free agent QB Cam Newton? Only time will tell if New England drafts a quarterback, especially because of this year’s crazy free-agent list and there are tradeable quarterbacks out there. So who are the top three quarterbacks the Patriots should take a look at for the upcoming season? Here are the best of the three paths the Patriots could go down: free agency, trade, and draft.
Free Agency: Mitchell Trubisky
This one is a bit of an interesting choice but if the Patriots want to just basically buy someone out in the market then this is the best option that is not already connected to a team. Over his past four seasons, Mitchell Trubisky has a 67 percent completion percentage, 64 passing touchdowns to 37 interceptions, averages over six yards per attempt in the past four seasons, and lastly has started all but one of his career games.
Trubisky is sort of the pocket passer that could work in a Bill Belichick run system. Also after four years of coaches that did not believe in him, Mitch could come in with a Chicago-sized chip on his shoulder which could mean good things for the New England Patriots. Now let’s talk money, the Patriots have just under 20 million in cap space. In Chicago, Mitch was making about 7.2 million annually with the team. If New England were to offer about five million they may be able to sell the possibility of working with Belichick to Mitch’s agent. Naturally with Deshaun Watson, Matthew Stafford, and a possible Aaron Rodgers on the market. Teams will be overlooking Trubisky which could work out for New England.
Trade: Matthew Stafford
Obviously, Deshaun Watson would be the best QB to trade for overall, but not for the New England Patriots. The reason for this is it is no longer Bill O’Brien making the trades in Houston. So that basically means that you can’t get a star player like Watson for a ham sandwich and a shipped container of New England Clam Chowder. Houston’s asking price is much too high for the New England Patriots. Now, Stafford and the Lions have mutually agreed to part ways.
With teams going hot and heavy after Watson, the Patriots could swoop in and trade with Detroit for this sought after QB. Basically, New England would for sure have to give up this year’s and maybe next year’s first-round picks in order to bring him in.
However, with Stafford’s experience combined with Belichick’s, there is a chance they wouldn’t be very first-round picks anyway. On his current deal, he has about two years and 43 million dollars left which would be a large-cap hit for the Patriots. Even with that, however, last season at 32 years of age he still put up 4,084 passing yards, 26 passing touchdowns, and 10 picks in 16 games. So he can still play and make a large impact on this New England squad.
Draft: Zach Wilson
In mock drafts, this guy has been in all sorts of spots. Some have him going top five while others have him going in the late teens. CBS reporter Jason La Confora mentioned that there are character concerns so a lot of teams ahead of the New England Patriots may pass on him and go for a quarterback like Justin Fields instead.
Wilson has the ability to extend plays with his legs and is an extremely agile runner. He also has a great arm and good accuracy downfield. Wilson may give the Patriots just enough of that mobile quarterback quality combined with Belichick’s already impressive offense to really make some noise in the first year of this particular rookie’s career.
In addition, the cap hit would not be as large as some of the others previously mentioned so they can snag some weapons to go around the young QB.
It’s clear that Brady has won the debate on whether he needs Belichick or not. Bill went 7-9, Tom Brady is playing in the Super Bowl pretty clear who came out on top. For this reason, it is clear that a head coach needs a decent quarterback to have the offense run smoothly. So who will the Patriots choose as their new signal-caller?
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Photo Credit: CBS Boston