With the New England Patriots preparing to play in their third Super Bowl in four seasons, very few are wondering who will take over under center for the Pats once Tom Brady does call it quits.
Brady has been adamant that he plans to play until he’s 45 and already stated he’ll be back next season, when he’ll turn 42 years old. But when Father Time finally gets the better of the five-time Super Bowl champion, the Patriots will need to find someone to take over for the GOAT.
And who better to take the mantle than the brash, confident Baker Mayfield?
The Cleveland Browns quarterback reportedly interested the Patriots during the pre-draft process and dazzled during his rookie season. Mayfield obviously is the Browns’ franchise quarterback, but Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio floated a scenario to WEEI’s “Mut & Callahan” on Thursday that has the young gunslinger eventually leaving Cleveland due to the organization’s dysfunction — and heading to New England.
“I could see Mayfield after six, seven years in the NFL, forcing his way out (of Cleveland) and maybe the road finds its way to New England,” Florio said, as transcribed by WEEI’s Ryan Hannable. “Now, I don’t know if Tom Brady has six years left, but it would be six more years at the most before Mayfield could walk away wherever he wants to go.
“I could see him having that NBA-type player mentality, even though it takes longer in the NFL. I could see him saying I am all in while I am here, but I am not signing a contract extension.”
While Mayfield to the Patriots seems a little far fetched, rumors have swirled recently about the possibility of the Arizona Cardinals trading Josh Rosen and drafting Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick. Florio doesn’t believe Kliff Kingsbury will take Murray atop the draft, but he acknowledged it wouldn’t shock him if Rosen gets moved.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if it happened,” Florio said. “Look, I don’t know about Rosen, I really don’t. … What would Josh McDaniels do with Josh Rosen? Who knows? But if the opportunity is there, the question becomes how many years is Josh Rosen on the bench behind Tom Brady before he even gets a chance to play? How much do you give up for a guy who is going to be a backup for two, three, four years?”
It’s anybody’s guess how the Patriots will address the quarterback situation as Brady’s career winds down, but having Mayfield take the reins certainly would be a great way to transition out of the Brady era.