Good, experienced quarterbacks are hard to come by if you don't have one, but this off-season looks to be different. There are many QB's who appear to be set to become free agents this off-season or to likely be traded.
Adam Schefter recently tweeted the following: "My Over/Under of teams changing QBs this off-season is 18. I’ll go with the over."
There are 32 teams in the NFL. That would mean that more than half of them will be moving-on from their current starting QB.
Some of the guys who could be collecting a paycheck with a different signature on it next season are Deshaun Watson, Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Sam Darnold, Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, Jimmy Garoppolo, Cam Newton, Teddy Bridgewater, Mitch Trubisky, Jameis Winston, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Alex Smith and Ben Roethlisberger.
That's a lot of talent to hit the open market, and will surely cause a bidding war amongst teams looking for fresh meat at the QB position.
I would probably take Roethlisberger off of that list, as he has stated that he will re-work his contract in order to make one more run at a championship season in Pittsburgh next year. But, either way, there are plenty of other options for teams moving-on from their 2020 quarterbacks.
The Patriots will surely be in the market for a new QB after their one-year tryout of Cam Newton appears to have been just that - a one-year tryout. Newton never really showed signs of his MVP former self, and the Patriots' offense struggled most of the season.
We can look at all the available options that could be brought into New England, but would any of those guys come willingly? Or, is Belichick going to need a cloth rag and some chloroform in order to make it happen?
Some of the names on that list won't carry big price tags, and probably won't have a ton of options, but if New England was one of those options it would be a hard sell for the Patriots in order to lure a veteran quarterback to a team that lacks any real help from the Wide Receiver or Tight End positions.
If any of these QB's considers joining the Patriots for the 2021 season they will certainly want to see who they'd be throwing the ball to. When they look at the list they will see the following names at the top of the list:
Those six names probably don't really peak the interest of a QB that's looking to get his career back on track, or one who's just looking to put one final decent season together before ending a career.
Could any of those above QB's look to New England as a home for 2021 and beyond? Sure, anything is possible, but one would have to think that if one of those guys were to choose New England over some other organization they will have probably run out of decent options.
There is plenty of time for the Patriots to collect some pieces to help their passing attack going forward, and they do have a lot of cap space to work with, but if they're going to make a serious run at one of these upper-echelon available QB's they better improve the optics of their receiving core sooner rather than later, before the 2021 quarterback market is no longer about quality, and only about quantity.