There is a strong possibility that the landscape of the NFL, or at least the AFC East, is going to experience a dramatic change in the weeks ahead. No, not because of any kind of realignment, but because the New England Patriots could very well be saying goodbye to longtime starting quarterback, Tom Brady.
Crazy, right? Why on Earth would they do that?
Well, because Bill Belichick has a reputation for letting guys go, before they decline. With Brady appearing to slip a little last season, maybe he figures it is finally time. But then comes the tough part (should they actually let Brady walk)—who is going to be the quarterback of the team next season?
BetOnline.ag has odds on some of the likely candidates:
- Patriots QB Week 1 2020 Reg.Season (If not Brady)
- Teddy Bridgewater +300
- Ryan Tannehill +350
- Marcus Mariota +500
- Andy Dalton +600
- Jarrett Stidham +700
- Derek Carr +800
- Jimmy Garoppolo +1000
- Nick Foles, Philip Rivers +1400
- Dak Prescott, Jameis Winston +2000
- Joe Flacco +2500
- Cody Kessler +3300
The idea that the Patriots are going to let Tom Brady walk almost seems too crazy to be believed; almost as cray as the amount of money some other team is going to pay the 42-year old quarterback (who turns 43 before the season starts).
So—if not Brady, then who will the Patriots QB be next season?
It seems far-fetched to think Belichick would be willing to sign another quarterback closer to the end of his career then the beginning if he is ready to let Brady walk. That would mean Philip Rivers, Joe Flacco, and Andy Dalton are out of the running.
Cody Kessler has had some solid moments when he has played. But Jarrett Stidham is the more likely of the Patriots current quarterbacks (not named Brady) to start.
There has been a lot of talk about the possibility the Patriots may try to reacquire Jimmy Garoppolo from the 49ers. While Jimmy G wasn’t exactly a vital part of the team’s run to the Super Bowl last, it would be foolish of the 49ers to break up a working formula.
That leaves Ryan Tannehill, Teddy Bridgewater, Marcus Mariota, Derek Carr, Nick Foles, Dak Prescott, or Jameis Winston.
Belichick does not have the kind of patience necessary to coach Winston. Prescott would be an interesting choice, but it is unlikely Jerry Jones doesn’t give in and pay him what he wants. A trade for Foles could be interesting as a bridge while Stidham (or someone they draft this year) develops.
Mariota will probably be the cheapest option. While it seems like Derek Carr could be available, Jon Gruden is not going to let him walk without having a viable candidate (long-term) to replace him on the roster.
If Belichick is just looking for someone to while he is still coaching, Tannehill is a good choice if the Titans are foolish enough to let him test the market.
That leaves Teddy Bridgewater—who would be an excellent choice.
So—who should you bet on? Since it is so hard to tell what Belichick is going to do or who he may target, go with either Stidham, Mariota, or Bridgewater.