Tom brady will not return to the Patriots as a starting quarterback for a 21st season in 2020. As he chooses between the Buccaneers and Chargers as their next team, the Patriots find themselves with the extremely difficult task of trying to replace him, both short and long term.
So far, free agent agreements were limited for QBs. Ryan Tannehill (re-signing with the Titans), Marcus Mariota (Raiders) and Case Keenum (Browns) are out of the market. Drew Brees is also not leaving the Saints.
However, there are plenty of other options at stake, whether it’s signing another free agent, trading for a veteran, or drafting a direct rookie successor.
Here are the Patriots’ options to replace Brady for the 2020 season and beyond, from the realist to a few more wacky alternatives.
Sign Teddy Bridgewater
The Patriots may opt for another VG to replace VG12. Bridgewater went 5-0 for Brees because he relied well on support from the running game, defense and special teams. He’s smart enough to take the offense and disrupt Bill Belichick’s current winning formula as little as possible.
Update: Bridgewater Tuesday accepted a $ 60 million three-year contract with the Panthers, according to multiple reports.
Exchange for Andy Dalton
Dalton belongs to the same category as Bridgewater. With a high quality support system, the veteran has proven to be very effective leading a team. Consider Brady was also the goalie type last year, so the Patriots should look for that profile first among seasoned options. The Bengals evolve with Joe Burrow and Dalton is used to absorbing new offenses quickly.
Tua Tagovailoa project
The Patriots would need to exchange for that to happen now that Tagovailoa has a good health check. But they’re sitting on 12 picks and have some flexibility to move up from No.23 overall to land Alabama quarterback, the program led by Belichick’s close confidant Nick Saban. Tagovailoa has the potential to be a special asset from the start.
Jalen’s draft hurts
Belichick, however, should also be aware of another old Saban product. Hurts has a winning pedigree, can be an effective leader as a rookie, and has a dynamic athletic skill set that can take Josh McDaniels’ offense in a new direction. The Patriots can just target him with one of their third rounders.
Jake Fromm Project
Fromm is like the draft version of Bridgewater and Dalton. He won a ton because of all of Georgia’s loaded running game and defensive talent and did a few clutch throws when he needed them with a lot of big game experience. It can also be had in the third round.
Jacob Eaison Project
Eason would come into play with his big arm at the end of the first round, with the Patriots likely not needing to go up to get it. Unrelated to former Patriots QB Tony Eason, he’s got the makeup to quickly develop the other parts of his game with McDaniels.
FOLLOWING: SN’s last mock first-round draft for 2020
Acquire Derek Carr
With Mariota going to the Raiders as a contingency for Carr, were Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock just going to go ahead and move Carr? This is the big question. Priced right and reasonably priced, the Patriots should definitely be interested as it has a bit more long-term appeal than the similarly styled Bridgewater or Dalton.
Jameis Winston sign
Winston showed his cap with 5,109 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2019 with the Buccaneers. But he also showed his big problem, throwing 30 interceptions. Winston has the football intelligence to revamp his coach with McDaniels and become more efficient. But as with the Rivers scenario, the Patriots may not want to take the risk of running around with an error-prone gunslinger.
Acquire Jacoby Brissett
The Patriots won’t get Jimmy Garoppolo, but their other former Brady replacement, Jacoby Brissett, could become available if the Colts follow up on Rivers by replacing him as a post-Andrew Luck starter. There’s no worry about Brissett knowing about offense and he’s another QB who relies the best on running play and defense.
FOLLOWING: Why did Tom Brady leave the Patriots?
Aacquire Cam Newton
The problem is whether Newton is healthy enough to take on the role of starter. The schedule has been slow to find out, even for the Panthers. The Patriots can’t afford to go for an unknown amount now. But if they can afford to wait until deep April with a draft pick as a contingency, being aggressive to sideline Newton would have the most immediate benefit of any of their options.
Playing Jarrett Stidham
Stidham, the Patriots’ 2019 fourth-round pick, currently at the top of the depth chart with Brady’s departure. He had a solid preseason as a rookie, replacing Brian Hoyer as a No.2. But on a limited cleanup task in Week 3, he threw a six pick that made it. come back to the bench. Stidham will need massive development to think he can be like Brissett or Garoppolo.