The 2023 season has been a total disaster for the New England Patriots, and the franchise and its fans haven’t dealt with this type of disaster in decades.
The team currently holds a 2-8 record, which is the worst in the AFC, and even worse, it may now have a brewing quarterback controversy. Mac Jones, who was once thought to be a worthy successor to Tom Brady, has struggled dating back to last season, and after being benched more than once this year, he will apparently be a backup to Bailey Zappe moving forward.
New England needs a reliable signal-caller as soon as possible. Two ESPN NFL writers feel the franchise could go after veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings.
“The Patriots will have options,” wrote Matt Miller and Jordan Reid. “They might have a top-five selection, and if Caleb Williams (USC) or Drake Maye (North Carolina) are on the board, it’s an easy decision to reset at quarterback. But they could also look to free agency (Kirk Cousins?) or even the trade market (Kyler Murray?).”
NFL News & Rumors: Kirk Cousins, New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings Updates
At first glance, going after Cousins in free agency may not make sense, especially for a rebuilding team such as the Patriots. He is going to turn 36 years of age a few weeks before the start of next season, and he recently suffered a torn Achilles, which normally means up to a year of recovery and rehab, which may mean he won’t be ready for the start of the 2024 campaign.
On the other hand, he is a very capable QB who put up 2,331 passing yards and 18 passing touchdowns while completing 69.5 percent of his pass attempts in eight games this year. In his last full game before his injury, he threw for 378 yards and two touchdowns in a Monday night win over the San Francisco 49ers, and it earned praise from Hall of Fame QB Troy Aikman, who was commentating the game for ABC/ESPN.
Of course, the Patriots and their de facto general manager Bill Belichick would have to outbid Minnesota, assuming Minnesota wants to keep Cousins around a little longer. But perhaps, at the very least, he would be a nice placeholder option for a franchise that won six Super Bowl championships not a very long time ago.