The New England Patriots appear to have an obvious need at the quarterback position after Tom Brady left to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and many have wondered if they will jump in the market for a veteran starter like Cam Newton. As of now, that is not Bill Belichick’s plan.
The Patriots have not expressed any interest in signing Newton or trading for Andy Dalton, according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic. Even if they wanted to, they don’t have the money at the moment. New England had around $1 million in salary cap space as of Wednesday and is carrying a $13.5 million dead cap hit for Brady in 2020.
Second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham is the favorite to win the starting job for the Patriots this offseason. The team signed veteran Brian Hoyer last month, and he should be able to push Stidham a bit as someone who has been with the Patriots in the past and is familiar with the offense. However, Belichick would obviously prefer that last year’s fourth-round pick does enough to distance himself from the 34-year-old journeyman.
There are many ways to manipulate the salary cap, so the Patriots could free up the necessary space to make a run at a veteran like Newton or Dalton at some point in the offseason. Though, the coronavirus situation likely complicates things further. With offseason workouts being shortened and training camp potentially delayed, there will be minimal time for a new quarterback to familiarize himself with New England’s offense. That likely played a role in the Patriots’ decision to sign Hoyer, who has been on their roster in the past.
Multiple key Patriots players have already come forward and endorsed Stidham for the starting job, and it is clearly the former Auburn star’s to lose.
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While many quarterbacks have thrown passes for the New England Patriots over the years, this quiz only lists the signal callers who led the team in passing yards in the years displayed.