The Patriots are moving into the post-Brady era. Now what? Will they go after a big-name quarterback in the offseason?
Four different analysts with some access to the franchise say probably not. Albert Breer, Michael Lombardi, Tom Curran and Pete Schrager all say that they expect Jarrett Stidham probably will be the team’s opening-day starter.
The Patriots will obtain another quarterback, but the general consensus is that it will be at a price-tag that Bill Belichick likes, and that said quarterback would only be allowed to come in and compete. Andy Dalton, for example, if he were to wind up in New England wouldn’t be handed a starting job; he would be brought in only as another option. A report today suggests the Patriots aren’t interested in Dalton.
Stidham was a fourth-round pick last year. He played well in the preseason last year, completing 68 percent of his passes, with 4 TDs and an interception. He had a Pick Six in limited playing time in the regular season, but the team supposedly like the way he practiced and developed during the season.
If the Patriots go cheap at quarterback, it will save them money to spend on other positions, and that could be appealing to Belichick. The other quarterbacks on the roster right now are Cody Kessler and Brian Hoyer (who reached an agreement today) but if either sticks on the roster, it should be as a backup rather than a starter.
Even without Brady, the Patriots are about as likely as anyone to win the AFC East. They’ll put together a good defense, and they’ve been competitive in the past when asked to play without their Hall of Fame quarterback.
New England has played 19 times without Brady during this era, and they’ve gone 13-6 in those games, averaging 24.9 points and 229 passing yards. Most came way back in 2008, when Matt Cassel (originally a seventh-round pick) led the team to an 11-5 record after Brady got hurt on opening day.
When Brady was suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season, Jimmy Garoppolo went 2-0 filling in, looking like an up-and-coming starter. When he got hurt, third-rounder Jacoby Brissett took over and went 1-1.
Cassel, Garoppolo and Brissett were all traded to other teams.
In the team’s last 16 games without Brady, New England’s quarterbacks have thrown 22 TDs versus only 8 interceptions.
|PATRIOTS WITHOUT BRADY|