we also have to remember the Patriots mantra “next man up”, and if you are a fan in New England, you have no choice but to trust Bill Belichick.
I know that this is one of the weirdest statements I'm ever going to write, but it's time for the New England Patriots to get over Tom Brady and start figuring out what they're going to do with the quarterback position, at the very least the 2020 season. There's still a couple of options left for the Patriots to explore if Belichick wanted to bring in a veteran quarterback. I think there's also the possibility that there's somebody in the 2020 NFL Draft that Belichick could like, and we could possibly see the Patriots future quarterback selected in April. The other option is, maybe there's an in-house option Belichick thinks higher of then a lot Patriots fans do. Regardless, the very real reality is, after Tom Brady's announcement yesterday, the Patriots are going to be starting the season with a new quarterback for the first time in 20 years.
I think the first thing that all Patriots fans need to remember is, nobody is going to live up to the expectations that Tom Brady set. If you actually want to enjoy the football season, and enjoy watching Patriots football, you have to lower the bar on how the offense is going to play. Last season Patriot fans at every right in the world to be frustrated with the poor play of receivers and at times the poor player Brady. But this year whether it be Jarrett Stidham, Cam Newton, or a draft pick like Jordan Love, neither of those players are going to look like Tom Brady, and this Patriots offense will never look like it has through the entire Tom Brady era in New England.
I have never been a big supporter of Jarrett Stidham one day being the Patriots starting quarterback. But that doesn't mean that I actually know how to evaluate talent, I also wasn't given the privilege to watch Stidham at practices last year. The fact of the matter is I know very little about him. I think the fact that Bill Belichick elected to keep Jarrett Stidham over Brian Hoyer tells us there was something about the kid the Belichick and Josh McDaniels likes. Perhaps it's more than just his possibility of being a good backup quarterback, and perhaps they see him as a potential starter. There were reports in 2017 that a lot of draft analysts believed that Stidham could have been a first-round draft pick in the 2018 draft, but Stidham chose to go back to school and play for Auburn university where he had a big step back from his 2017 season. In fairness to Stidham, he lost almost his entire starting offensive line from the 2017 season, and he also lost two of his offensive weapons prior to the season starting to injury. Now there's absolutely no guarantees, and maybe this is a little bit of wishful thinking on my part, but maybe Belichick has set the Patriots up again for stealing a quarterback in the draft.
There are three veteran quarterbacks that could possibly be in play for the Patriots. Now that Tom Brady is signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jameis Winston will be looking for a team, and the Patriots could be interested in the turnover machine. Perhaps Josh McDaniels could feel that if he could harness that cannon, and control the amount of passes that Winston throws, he could be a viable starter for New England. Of course Winston won't have the weapons in New England that he had in Tampa Bay, but he is an option for the Patriots.
Andy Dalton and Cam Newton are both on the trade block, and we could see Bill Belichick trade for a veteran quarterback. I think most people would rather see Cam Newton over Andy Dalton, personally for me I'd rather see neither of them at this point. We know what Andy Dalton is, we know what Cam Newton is. and neither of them will be a long-term solution for the Patriots. If Belichick was going to roll the dice this year, I'd much rather see him roll the dice with Jarrett Stidham and see if the future of the Patriots is already on the roster.
The Patriots could of course explore some possible draft picks like Jordan Love or Justin Herbert. Belichick could roll the dice again and take somebody like Jalen hurts in one of the later rounds in the draft. I don't think it would be a bad idea for Belichick to select a quarterback in this year's NFL draft regardless. Belichick could have the rookie compete with Jarrett Stidham and create some real internal competition.
Regardless of what happens, the only thing we know for sure is that the Patriots will go into this season without Tom Brady as their quarterback, and as strange as it is to say that, we also have to remember the Patriots mantra “next man up”, and if you are a fan in New England, you have no choice but to trust Bill Belichick.