For the first time in two decades, the Bill Belichick coached New England Patriots are 2-5 following a gut-wrenching Sunday loss to the Buffalo Bills. The Patriots have looked like a shell of themselves this season with glaring roster holes which can no longer be covered up. Outside of his first two games as a Patriot, Cam Newton has shown us he is not a viable long-term, or even short-term, winning option. While Cam Newton has admirably said all of the right things throughout New England’s tailspin, his play on the field has shown little improvement. Moreover, after Sunday’s loss, the Patriots currently sit two and a half games behind the Cleveland Browns for the last AFC playoff spot. It is time to start considering all options with this team and start building for 2021 including possibly looking past Cam Newton.
Looking Past Cam Newton: New England Patriots 2021 Quarterback Options
Quarterbacks With NFL Experience
The four-year veteran and former Patriots third-round pick will be a free agent option this off-season. While Brissett is by no means a top-tier level quarterback, he has a fair amount of NFL experience. The 27-year-old has played in 40 games throughout his career, completing 59.9 percent of his passes for 6,459 yards, 31 touchdowns, and just 13 interceptions. Furthermore, Brissett brings athleticism to the position and could be a viable bridge quarterback option for the 2021 season.
Taylor should be a very intriguing option for the Patriots. Like Brissett, Taylor will be a free agent this spring and at 31 years old, the 10-year veteran still has some good football left. Outside of his three years in Buffalo (2015-2017), Taylor has failed to stick as a starter. However, during his time with the Bills, Taylor played in 44 games completing 62.7 percent of his passes, throwing for 8,857 yards, 51 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. Under New England’s coaching, Taylor may be able to return to something of his Buffalo form and be a viable bridge quarterback.
2021 Quarterback Draft Options
Unless things go entirely south for the Patriots, they likely will not be in a position to select any of this draft’s top three quarterbacks in Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, and Trey Lance. However, there are a few promising prospects projected to go in the late first to second round range who New England should invest in.
The Florida prospect looks the part of an NFL signal-caller with a massive frame and a cannon of an arm. Trask has shown comfort operating as a pocket passer within shotgun, pistol, and under center alignments. Furthermore, Trask has demonstrated a promising level of football I.Q. as he often freezes and looks off safeties with his eyes. While his arm strength sometimes leads to off-platform, lazy mechanical throws, New England’s coaching staff could beat that out of him. Through four games this season, Trask is completing 68.3 percent of his passes for 1,341 yards, 18 touchdowns, and just two interceptions.
The BYU prospect will be one of the most talked-about players leading up to the 2021 draft. Wilson is a bit of a boom or bust prospect who possesses all the tools to be a star NFL player. An exciting player to watch, Wilson is a playmaker who has extreme confidence in his abilities along with a hint of a gunslinger mentality. Through seven games this season, Wilson has completed 74.6 percent of his passes for 2,152 yards, 19 touchdowns, and just two interceptions. Allowing Wilson to develop his coverage recognition for a season on the bench could do wonders for his NFL career.
The Alabama prospect may be a tricky evaluation for NFL scouts as he has been throwing to some of the nation’s top wide receivers in Jaylen Waddle and Devonta Smith. However, there is no doubting Jones’ ceiling as a prospect. While his arm strength and physical skill set are not elite, his field vision and anticipation are polished traits. Jones frequently anticipates open routes before they fully develop, allowing him to throw the ball to an open spot prior to his receivers inhabiting that space. Furthermore, playing under Nick Saban will raise Jones’ draft stock as discipline, work ethic, and smarts are staples of Alabama’s program. Through six games this season, Jones has completed 78.5 percent of his passes for 2196 yards, 16 touchdowns, and just two interceptions.