In a surprising move to many, longtime New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady announced on Tuesday that he wouldn’t be returning to Foxborough for his 21st NFL season. While it will be odd to see the future Hall of Famer in another uniform, it’s now a reality that the Patriots have to live with.
Regardless, the Patriots now need to focus on finding their next starting quarterback. Perhaps they have enough faith in second-year pro Jarrett Stidham or maybe they’ll target a quarterback early in the upcoming draft but there are also plenty of other options that can be explored via free agency or trade.
In another semi-surprising move, the Carolina Panthers have decided former New Orleans Saints QB Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year deal effectively making Newton available. The Panthers have reportedly given the former MVP permission to explore a trade and New England should come knocking.
Talent has never been an issue for Newton, the biggest knock on the former No. 1 overall pick is his inability to stay healthy as of late. Newton played in just two games last year but if the Patriots staff is confident that Newton is healthy, there’s no reason that the tantalizing QB can’t be elite.
With most rumors pointing towards Brady signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, maybe the Patriots will take a flier on the team’s incumbent starter.
On the bright side, Winston led the league in 2019 with 5,109 yards and also threw an impressive 33 touchdowns. On the other hand, the former Heisman winner threw a ridiculous 30 interceptions last season.
However, Winston received Lasik surgery this offseason which might help fix his turnover problem and if anyone can get Winston to play at his full potential, it’s Bill Belichick.
Depending on how confident the Las Vegas Raiders are with newly signed quarterback Marcus Mariota, sixth-year pro Derek Carr could be on the move. Carr hasn’t gotten a ton of credit for his solid play the last few seasons and he seems like a player that the Patriots could transform into a bonafide star.
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden’s relationship with Carr is reportedly a bit testy so, after coming off a year where he completed 70.4 percent of his passes for 4,054 yards, 21 touchdowns and eight interceptions, Carr might be a great option for New England.
He may not be as exciting as Winston or Newton but Carr has proven himself to be an accurate quarterback who isn’t mistake-prone and has shown flashes of greatness in the past.