If the New England Patriots are unable to come to a contract agreement with Tom Brady, they still don’t need to draft a quarterback in this year’s NFL Draft.
Although this year’s draft prospects at the position are impressive, the Patriots don’t need to draft their quarterback of the future just yet.
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The New England Patriots have established themselves to be a veteran team in today’s NFL. It’s worth mentioning a lot of their veterans were once rookies that have been either drafted or picked up and then developed through the Patriots’ system over the years. Some of those players include Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, David Andrews, and Devin McCourty to name a few.
What has made the New England Patriots incredibly successful over the last two decades has been the longevity of the players they develop. The time spent in developing their players is extremely important to the organization.
For the first time in 20 years, the Patriots are in a serious debacle in regards to the quarterback position. With the future of Brady looming around, and the urge to prepare for the future, should the Pats draft a rookie quarterback to take over the helm, or go with a veteran quarterback who could serve as a “stop-gap” player for a year or two?
Taking into consideration the aforementioned “veteran team”, the Patriots should look into a quality, veteran quarterback if Brady so wishes to leave the team during free agency. Having a veteran quarterback under center could prove to thin the gap between Brady not being here anymore and his eventful replacement.
One of the many potential Brady replacements that have been linked to the Patriots has been Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. Considering the Bengals have the first overall selection in the NFL Draft this year, they are probably taking a quarterback, possibly even Joe Burrow; who is projected to be the top draft choice in the position.
A lot of people want to hate the idea of the “Red Rifle” in New England, but Dalton could be a veteran player that Bill Belichick and his staff think they could pull out the best year of his career. I would like for those same people to look at it from this similar comparison.
If Mike Vrabel and the Tennessee Titans could pull out the best year of Ryan Tannehill’s career, why is it so hard to believe that Bill Belichick and the Patriots couldn’t do something similar with Andy Dalton?
Another rumored and potential Brady replacement has been Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater is set to become a free agent after spending the last two seasons with the New Orleans Saints. He could be inexpensive compared to other veteran quarterbacks on the market.
It’s also worth mentioning that Bridgewater is coming from a team whose coach (Sean Payton) is part of the Belichick coaching tree and the two teams have a rather friendly relationship.
The other quarterback that is still in the middle of all of this is Jarrett Stidham, who the Patriots used a fourth-round pick on last year. It proves that the team was preparing to bring in a young quarterback to sit behind and learn from Brady. It still feels too early to just totally disqualify Stidham from the conversation.
Due to minor injuries throughout the season, Stidham played a big role during practice and helped prepare the Pats by role-playing the opposing team’s plays in the second unit. He’s young, versatile, and he knows the playbook better than any other potential replacement that is going to be out there.
It makes sense to hold off on drafting a quarterback this year for the main reason that there’s a strong chance that Brady remains in New England, and ultimately whether Brady is playing for the Patriots next season or not, the team is in dire need of skilled positioned players for any quarterback to throw to right now.
The New England Patriots could become a stronger offensive team next season by drafting one of the many tight ends that will be available to them with the 23rd overall pick in the draft. Having this plan in motion could also prove to persuade Brady to stay in New England for at least another year.