Tua Tagovailoa’s hip injury is bad for Alabama, the football world and especially himself. Trying to find any positives in a situation that could have cost the 21-year-old his football career probably is a bit sadistic.

However, the reality is we’re talking about a player who, until Saturday, was viewed as a candidate to be selected first overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. As such, it’s impossible to not speculate about what the future might hold for the Crimson Tide quarterback.

With that in mind, is it possible there’s a silver lining to be found for the New England Patriots? Mike Tannenbaum, a former NFL executive who now works as a league insider for ESPN, believes the stars might be aligned for the Patriots to draft and stash Tom Brady’s eventual successor.

Tannenbaum made his case Monday morning during ESPN’s “Golic and Wingo,” and it’s a point Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer agrees with.

“It’s obviously a tragic, unfortunate situation, but moving forward now, we’re going to be talking about this through April because the permutations are truly historic,” Tannenbaum said. “(Tagovailoa) could declare for the draft, and then truly evaluate how that goes. To me, this lines up so well for New England because, if I’m New England, I take him at the bottom of the first round and I say, ‘Look, you’re not playing for one year, maybe two, because we’re going to make sure you’re 1,000 percent healthy, not just 99 percent.

” … If I’m Tua, and I’m drafted in the middle of the first round by the Cincinnati Bengals, I may say, ‘You know what, I have world-class care, I have more leverage than John Elway, I have more leverage than Eli Manning, I’m going to rehab myself for a year and then I’m going to go back into the draft.'”

Obviously, this is pure speculation on Tannenbaum’s part. There have been no reports suggesting the Patriots have interest in Tagovailoa, and New England already has a potential Brady heir in Jarrett Stidham on its roster. Furthermore, all signs point to the 2017 national champion making a full recovery.

That said, Tagovailoa remains one of the more tantalizing quarterback prospects in recent memory, and you can bet the Patriots already have done extensive homework on the Hawaii native. If the injury causes Tagovailoa to fall in the 2020 draft, it’s hard to not think the Patriots will look to capitalize.

Thumbnail photo via Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports Images