On Tuesday morning, Tom Brady took to social media to announce that he would indeed be leaving the New England Patriots. He appears to be heading to either Tampa Bay or Los Angeles, but the larger question is what the Patriots will be able to do at quarterback via free agency or other methods.
Jarrett Stidham Top Patriots Quarterback
Currently, second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham sits atop the depth chart. The Patriots selected Stidham in the first round out of Auburn last year, and they may view him as the future.
Stidham completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 731 yards in the preseason. He also threw four touchdowns to one interception, and he scrambled for another 88 yards.
We could easily see a scenario where Jarrett Stidham is the starting quarterback for the Patriots. However, if Bill Belichick believes he needs more experience, these are the top available veterans New England should look at.
Free Agent Quarterbacks
Teddy Bridgewater, 28
Of all the available free agents, pairing Teddy Bridgewater with the Patriots seems to make the most sense. Bridgewater is a smart quarterback that has shown capable of learning multiple systems. He is also conservative by nature, looking to facilitate the offense instead of doing too much.
Bridgewater is also only 28 years old, meaning New England could invest a multi-year contract into him, possibly having their starter for another decade.
Jameis Winston, 26
This choice appears to be a bit of a project, but we know how good of teachers the Patriots have on their staff and they have also been masters at hiding weaknesses. There is zero doubting Jameis Winston’s arm talent. However, New England clearly puts a higher weight on mental strength than actual physical skills, just look at Tom Brady.
If New England can teach Winston to be a bit more conservative and make better reads within the offense, they could end up winning the free agency lottery. However, I would not put my money on that happening.
Philip Rivers, 38
I feel like I would get harassed if I did not mention Philip Rivers, but this is not happening. Take everything bad that I said about Winston, apply it to Rivers, then add another 12 years. If the Patriots truly want someone to come in for one or two years, I suppose there is a chance this takes place, but I can see already see Rivers screaming on the sidelines as the Patriots fans, and Belichick, boo the hell out of him.
Possible Quarterback Trades
Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts
Assuming Rivers signs with the Colts, like many believe, this makes Jacoby Brissett at least a bit more available. Brissett has already spent time in New England, knows the system and the coaching staff, and this reunion could be the perfect scenario for all parties involved. It could be the classic Michael Scott win/win/win.
Nick Foles, Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars invested a lot in Nick Foles, only for that mustache-wielding, jean short-wearing stud Gardner Minshew to beat him out. While Jacksonville has seemed adamant in keeping Foles, it makes no sense to do so, if someone offers you solid draft compensation for him.
We all know how Foles led the Eagles to a Super Bowl win over the Patriots. So, he owes them one. He is not afraid to push the ball down the field, which is what this offense needs if it is to be somewhat successful.