The New England Patriots are entering a new chapter in their franchise history, having parted ways with the legendary head coach Bill Belichick earlier this month after a disappointing 2023 season.
Given the less than stellar outcomes of the Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe experiments, it’s clear that acquiring a new quarterback should be at the top of the Patriots’ offseason agenda.
With several avenues available to find their next quarterback, here are four potential candidates the team can consider through the draft, signings, or trades:
Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos
If the Patriots opt for a bridge quarterback, Russell Wilson, expected to be released by the Denver Broncos, could be a suitable candidate.
Despite a challenging tenure with the Broncos, Wilson showed improvement under HC Sean Payton. His potential acquisition would likely come at a reasonable cost. Considering New England’s need to bolster its receiving corps and offensive line, signing Wilson, while improving the supporting cast, could set up the long-term starter for success.
J.J. McCarthy, Michigan Wolverines
McCarthy, while not expected to follow in the footsteps of the last Michigan quarterback in New England, could still be a viable development prospect. He may not be a first-round pick due to Michigan’s run-first approach, but his efficiency and a QBR rating of 88.2 make him an interesting option.
If the Patriots don’t select a quarterback in the first round, they should consider McCarthy if he’s available in the second round (No. 34 overall), providing flexibility in the draft.
Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
If the Bears select USC QB Caleb Williams with the first overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the Patriots should pursue Fields aggressively. Acquiring the 24-year-old Fields would likely require only a few mid-round picks, making it an attractive option for New England.
Fields has shown promise as a passer, with improved statistics this season, and the addition of a talented receiver like Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. could further enhance his potential.
Jayden Daniels, LSU Tigers
The Patriots have the third overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, and it seems likely that they will use this opportunity to upgrade at the quarterback position. Coach Jerod Mayo recently stated that they intend to draft the best player for a crucial position.
However, it’s uncertain whether they will have the choice between the top three quarterback prospects, as the Chicago Bears and Washington Commanders may address the position with their first two picks. If that’s the case, Daniels could be the best available option for New England. Daniels had a breakout 2023 season, winning the Heisman Trophy, and his dynamic rushing ability would make him an exciting pick.
The Patriots have several intriguing options to consider as they enter this new era in their franchise’s history, and their choice of quarterback will undoubtedly shape their future success.
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