A TB-for-TB swap?
With Tom Brady poised to sign with the Buccaneers, could Tampa Bay’s onetime quarterback of the future come to New England?
Jameis Winston is one of a number of intriguing possible candidates who could come to Foxborough to compete with Jarrett Stidham, the presumed leader in the clubhouse to be Brady’s successor.
Here’s a look at some of the quarterbacks who could be available to the Patriots via trade or free agency.
Jameis Winston: He’s coming off a season in which he hit career highs in passing yards (5,109) and touchdown passes (33) but also interceptions (30). Winston has a career mark of 28-42, but perhaps the most alarming statistic is zero. That’s the number of playoff appearances for the fifth-year veteran.
Winston, a free agent, has good size (6 feet 4 inches, 230 pounds) and a monster arm, but is limited athletically and can be reckless with the ball. Could recent eye surgery and a more disciplined environment help cut down on those turnovers?
Cam Newton: It wasn’t long ago that Newton was considered one of the top QBs in the league. But this 6-5, 245-pound monster truck has taken a pounding, and injuries have taken their toll.
The Panthers have moved on to Teddy Bridgewater, so Newton is available and likely would come cheap (i.e. a late-round pick). The risk here is that his cap number for 2020 is $21 million. That’s a big hit, especially if he’s not 100 percent healthy or if he sticks around for only one year.
Andy Dalton: The Red Rifle has been linked to the Patriots seemingly from the time Joe Burrow became a household name midway through last fall.
Dalton has a solid résumé (it’s pretty unreasonable to hold 2019 against him considering he was surrounded by an abysmal team) and strong arm. Like Newton, he likely could be had for a late-round pick, and his salary is a bit more palatable at $17 million. A restructure and/or extension always is a possibility if Dalton excels early.
Jacoby Brissett: Right now, the former Patriot would have to be acquired via trade, but this could change quickly. He’s due a $7 million payment Monday, and with the Colts moving on to Philip Rivers, will they pay that?
Brissett showed flashes last year after being thrust into the spotlight when Andrew Luck retired. He is familiar with the Patriot offense, and was well thought of throughout the organization. He earned a ton of respect when he started a pair of games in 2016 despite breaking a thumb halfway through his first game.
Brian Hoyer: Could he come back for a third tour of duty in Foxborough? He’s another guy who knows this offense and is well-respected for his work ethic and preparation.
The Colts gave him a nice deal last season (three years, $12 million), and they could retain him as Rivers insurance. A mid-round pick could get a deal done if the Colts opt to keep Brissett.
Blake Bortles: The 2014 first-round pick led the Jaguars to a berth in the 2017 AFC Championship game (Patriots fans will well remember) and win over New England the following season. Since then, his play has declined, and he served as Jared Goff’s backup with the Rams last season.
Bortles has excellent physical skills. He has a strong arm and underrated mobility. Supported by good coaching and surrounded by reliable weapons, Bortles could be a nice fit in New England.
Josh Rosen: How about a Dolphin coming to the Patriots for a change? A first-rounder in 2018, he still is comparatively cheap (cap hits of $2 million in 2020 and $3 million in 2021) with plenty of upside.
The Patriots liked Rosen coming out of UCLA, and perhaps what he needs is a structured, stable system to grow in after spending his first two seasons in Arizona and Miami.