Does that mean that Bill Belichick wants to go into the 2020 season with Marcus Mariota as the Patriots starting quarterback?
I don't know what sounds less appealing, The Patriots trading for Andy Dalton, or New England signing Marcus Mariota.
Both quarterbacks had high expectations and neither of them ever lived up to those expectations. But, according to Pro Football Talk's Tony Pauline there is buzz around the NFL Combine in Indianapolis that the Patriots are showing interest in Marcus Mariota. If you're like me, you're probably thinking, why is New England showing interest in Mariota and apparently not showing interest in Tom Brady?
Obviously there has been a lot of uncertainty about Tom Brady and the Patriots being able to get a deal done throughout the last week. News initially broke at the beginning of the week that the Patriots and Brady's representation we're going to sit down and discuss some possible contract options. But as the week went on more and more reports came out that Brady and the Patriots have not met, and there was also some speculation that New England hasn't even tried to reach out to Tom Brady's camp. But does that mean that Bill Belichick wants to go into the 2020 season with Marcus Mariota as the Patriots starting quarterback?
I think that some people are going to make these reports a bigger deal than it maybe it really is. Because there is uncertainty around Tom Brady's contract, it appears like the Patriots are just looking at all their different options if they had to go through the 2020 season without Brady. I guess if I had an opportunity to talk to Bill Belichick or Nick Caserio, the question that I would ask them is do you really have interest in Mariota, or is this just you doing your homework for a worst case scenario?
Here’s what Pauline wrote on the topic:
“Keep this in the back of your mind – with all the uncertainty surrounding Tom Brady, the New England Patriots are showing interest in soon to be free agent quarterback Marcus Mariota," according to Henry McKenna of Patriots Wire. The former first-round pick is being courted by several teams who may have an open competition at quarterback. I’m told the Indianapolis Colts have also shown interest in Mariota – just in case.”
There has been a lot of pessimistic people that don't believe Tom Brady will re-sign with the Patriots. According to the Boston Globe as of Friday, the Patriots and Brady have not sat down to discuss a contract, and of course like we discussed the other day, ESPN's Jeff Darlington said that he would be stunned if Brady re-signed with the Patriots. At the end of the day we won't really know anything until March 18th when Tom Brady officially becomes a free agent.
When trying to figure out why Belichick would have so much interest in Marcus Mariota and whether he would be a good fit for the Patriots, one thing that definitely comes to mind would be his contract. This kind of move seems like a low-risk signing for the Patriots, and it could be a small investment with the opportunity of a large return. When I was talking about this story on my Sportscastr show on Friday night, there were people who were commenting and believing that Mariota was not used properly in Tennessee, and that playing under Josh McDaniels and the Patriots offense, Mariota could actually find the success people used to expect from.
Besides a low money contract, one thing that Belichick may be attracted to when it comes to Marcus Mariota, he is very conservative, and the fact that he is not turnover prone may be very appealing to Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels, especially if the Patriots really get the run game Go nf. Maybe it's unfair of me to believe that Marcus Mariota would not work out with the Patriots, but it's a little bit concerning that he lost his starting job to Ryan Tannehill who completely turned around the Tennessee Titans season and brought them all the way to the AFC Championship game
There's a lot to figure out with the Patriots roster this season. If Tom Brady does move on, do the Patriots use their 23rd overall pick in the NFL draft, and try to get a Young quarterback? Do the Patriots give Jarrett Stidham the opportunity to take over as the starting quarterback for a season and see what happens? Does Belichick bring in a veteran quarterback like Philip Rivers, Marcus Mariota, or Andy Dalton? These are all questions that only Belichick will be able to answer. I think the only thing that I can be positive about is, a lot of patriot fans will not be happy if it's not Tom Brady under centre for the Patriots, but it actually wouldn't be the end of the world.