The Patriots have quarterback options, Belichick doesn’t need to clear cap space and sign a veteran
There have been a lot of rumors making their way around the media that the New England Patriots were interested in trading for Andy Dalton, or signing Cam Newton. Reports emerged on Wednesday that the Patriots had shown no interest in either of the quarterbacks.
Financially it didn’t make sense for the Patriots, they actually couldn’t afford either guy. Some people believed that Bill Belichick would be about to convince Newton to take the verteran’s minimum on a one year prove it deal. The problem is, the Patriots only have about $800,000 in cap space. Belichick would need to move on from one of the Patriots bigger names like Dont’a Hightower, Marcus Cannon, or Shaq Mason, to get his hands on either Newton or Dalton. So I’m not surprised at all that the Patriots aren’t interested.
“It looks like the New England Patriots are moving forward with their current options at quarterback following the departure of Tom Brady. Despite recent speculation, the Patriots have expressed no interest in signing Cam Newton or trading for Andy Dalton, a source told Jeff Howe of The Athletic. The Patriots signed veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer in free agency after losing Brady. Their depth chart also includes second-year QB Jarrett Stidham. Barring unforeseen circumstances, Stidham appears to have the inside track on the starting job, Howe adds.” - Caio Miari, The Score
The question that you have to ask is, did we ever see either Newton or Dalton as a fit for the Patriots? Even though this sends a shiver down my spine, I saw Dalton as a better fit for the Patriots over Newton. Cam Newton is a good quarterback, he’s a former league MVP, he brought the Carolina Panthers to a Super Bowl, and he’s carried teams on his back and won games. Newton just doesn’t seem to fit the Patriots mold.
New England has built their offense around a quarterback who can get rid of the ball quickly, utilize the short game, and a quarterback who will take care of the football. Unfortunately, that’s not really the type of quarterback Cam Newton is. That doesn’t make Newton a bad quarterback, it just means that he’s not really a fit for the Patriots.
Dalton would actually be the better fit for New England, it doesn’t mean that he’s the better quarterback, he’s just the better fit for the Patriots. I could see Josh McDaniels using Dalton more as a game manager, and relying on the Patriots run game to move the ball. Dalton would make safe passes, and only throw the ball when the Patriots really needed him to.
So, if the Patriots aren’t interested in bringing in Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, or even Jameis Winston, who will play quarterback for the Patriots? Honestly, the easiest answer is Jarrett Stidham. At this point, I see no reason for Belichick not to give Stidham the chance. I also really liked the Brian Hoyer signing. Hoyer can mentor Stidham, he knows the Patriots system, and he can help the young quarterback grow.
Hoyer also brings a healthy competition to camp. The rumors that are floating around right now is, the Patriots are ready to hand the starting role to Stidham, but having Hoyer breathing down his neck, Stidham will have to earn his spot. The competition with Hoyer will also give Belichick an early tell if Stidham is really ready to start.
Even if Belichick didn’t trust Stidham or Hoyer, the Patriots also have other quarterback options outside of free agency. Belichick has draft options. I don’t know if Belichick is really interested in drafting a quarterback, but there are a lot of options. Jordan Love (Utah), Justin Herbert (Oregon), Jacob Eason (Washington), Jake Fromm (Georgia). There is also an outside chance that the Patriots could roll the dice and go with Jalen Hurts out of Oklahoma, but I see that as the least likely scenario.
The Patriots have quarterback options, Belichick doesn’t need to clear cap space and sign a veteran. There are a lot of Patriots fans that are hoping for New England to have the same success that they’ve had with Tom Brady. The problem is, and I really do hate being bearer of bad news, but there will never, ever, be another Tom Brady.