Without Brady, who is New England’s Quarterback Heir?by Jordan Leandre March 17, 2020 0 comments
Hall of Famer, and quite possibly the greatest quarterback to ever play the game, Tom Brady has announced via Instagram that he will not be returning to the Patriots in 2020.
In doing so, Brady ends a run of dominance that spanned 20 years.
However, if there’s one way to describe Bill Belichick, it would be that he is constantly living “in the now.” Translation: it likely stung at first, but the longtime New England head coach realized that there’s still a season to be played, a new quarterback to bring in, and a future to prepare for without the man they called “TB12.”
But if it isn’t Brady, who’s it going to be? As it stands, the only quarterback on the Patriots roster is second-year backup Jarrett Stidham who, despite looking promising in the preseason, left a lot to be desired in his limited touches in the regular season.
Even if Belichick and co. decide Stidham is the future, they still need to round out their quarterback room with somebody who can learn the offense.
So who will be under center next year in New England?
Dalton is coming off perhaps his worst season as a pro, completing just 59.5 percent of his passes, throwing 14 interceptions (13 games), and a career-worst 3.0 percent touchdown rate. How much of that can be attributed to not having A.J. Green all year remains to be seen, but it definitely factored into his play.
It’s not the prettiest option, and I’m sure Patriots fans would be a bit disappointed if this was their consolation prize to losing Tom Brady. However, the likes of Teddy Bridgewater, Marcus Mariota, and even Philip Rivers are already off the board.
Dalton brings a veteran presence and is a guy you’ve never heard anything negative about in the locker room. Perhaps a change of scenery with a more balanced offense could help the 32-year-old resurrect his career.
This one could be tough to pull off, but it can be inferred that Las Vegas is trying to move on from Derek Carr.
Carr will be entering year three of a five-year extension and has a cap-hit of $21.5 million in 2020. He will be 29 years old next season and is coming off a year in which he completed 70.8 percent of passes for 4,054 yards, 21 touchdowns, and just eight interceptions.
His passer rating was also a career-high 100.8.
It’s unclear what the terms for the pending contract with Marcus Mariota is, but it’s kind of hard to believe the former Heisman Trophy winner would accept a backup role in free agency. That being said, the Raiders do need to build a team around their quarterback, and Derek Carr could attract decent draft capital in return.
According to the Carolina Panthers, they gave Newton the right to explore a trade this summer. According to Cam Newton, that never happened.
Regardless, he’s available after being pushed out by the expected signing of Teddy Bridgewater.
The 2015 league MVP has stumbled upon the injury bug in recent years, including participating in just two games a season ago. However, when healthy (a big when), he can still be productive in the right situation. This one appears the most probable, but I question if his playstyle fits the New England mantra.
Could it be time for a new narrative surrounding the New England offense?
Oftentimes in college football, you watch star quarterbacks blossom as they progress. Look no further than Joe Burrow, who went from potentially being undrafted to the consensus No. 1 overall pick.
That didn’t happen with Jake Fromm.
The Georgia quarterback was on another level in 2018 but saw his efficiency diminish a little bit. He ended up with a career-high in yards (2,860) and a career-low in interceptions (five), but his completion percentage (60.8) and rating (141.2) were both his worst marks for the Bulldogs.
Why does he fit in New England?
There’s a sense of continuity there with a reunion with his running back (Sony Michel) and left tackle (Isaiah Wynn). Perhaps reuniting with those two could help unlock the potential everyone once saw in the Warner Robins native. He also doesn’t tend to lock in on one target, spreading the offensive wealth around.
Sure, every quarterback has their security blanket, but each of the past two seasons Fromm has had at least four receivers with 24 or more receptions.
Love has taken off in recent weeks, flying up the chart on a lot of mock drafts.
Even though he had a 20:17 touchdown-to-interception ratio, many mocks still have the Utah State quarterback being selected in the first round. The latest one from CBS Sports has him going No. 29 to Tennessee (New England picks No. 23), although that was before the massive extension given out to Ryan Tannehill.
However, according to Walter Football, Love is the No. 4 quarterback on the board behind Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, and Justin Herbert.
Many say Love has a lot of Patrick Mahomes in him, and we all know how that turned out for the Chiefs. Perhaps moving towards a more gunslinger approach under center is the way for New England to “get with the times” and still remain a juggernaut.