The Patriots are equipped with ample cap space and valuable recruiting capital.
Bill Belichick can theoretically be extremely aggressive this offseason, and one could argue that he definitely should be after New England stumbled through its first losing season since 2000.
But what will that aggressiveness mean?
ESPN.com published an article Wednesday in which Football Outsiders suggested “daring” offseason moves for all 32 NFL teams.
“Some of these are realistic, others are more implausible, but each would provide a significant change and improve a team’s chances of winning future Super Bowls,” the article explains.
Unsurprisingly, Football Outsiders signaled the Patriots’ quarterback situation by offering his “bold move” for New England.
The Patriots hold the No. 15 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, but Football Outsiders proposed that New England trade to get their QB of the future.
Here is its reason for being:
The most likely scenario is that all five first-round caliber passers will be gone by the time the Patriots’ pick reaches No. 15. Rumor has it that the Patriots kick the tires on trades and veteran free agents instead. , and the exchange. raising in the first round is not a particularly Belichickian move; the Pats were last raised on draft day in 2012. Still, absent a move from Deshaun Watson, bringing in a veteran isn’t going to jump-start the next Patriots dynasty. If the Pats want the best chance of establishing their quarterback position for the foreseeable future, they can’t count on finding another Brady in the draft scum; they need to be brave.
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of New England finding a quarterback now that Tom Brady is winning Super Bowl titles with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Cam Newton’s experiment did not go well in 2020, and the Patriots only have Jarrett Stidham and Jake Dolegala under contract for 2021.
The Patriots have been linked, at least in speculation, with almost every available quarterback. Still, no one knows how Belichick will approach the situation. Everything – free agency, trades and the draft – remains a possibility at this point.
What complicates things for New England is that there could be a run over the quarterbacks early in the draft, with Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance and Mac Jones widely regarded as the top five picks.
Uncharacteristic as it may be, the Patriots may ultimately have no choice but to change if they really believe in one of those signal callers. Otherwise, New England could get stuck picking from the next level of QB prospects.
Here’s more from Football Outsiders on the idea of New England trading for a quarterback:
The Patriots will not be in the Trevor Lawrence draw, but they have a chance to win Zach Wilson, Justin Fields or Trey Lance. A trade with Cincinnati at No. 5 (for No. 15, No. 46 and a fourth round?) Would put New England in the catbird seat for a passer of their choice, while a trade with Dallas in 10th place would. at least jump on the 49ers and Vikings. The Patriots have the draft capital to fetch their boy; the question is, do they have the will?
The Patriots are not going to be reckless. Whatever they choose to do this offseason will presumably work out, especially when it comes to the quarterback position a year after letting Brady into free agency.
However, it might be time to go further, as New England’s decisions over the next few months could shape the franchise’s long-term future, for better or for worse.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports Images