Peter King’s “gut feeling” tells him Tom Brady won’t be playing for the Patriots next season.
So, who could be under center for New England in the 2020 campaign?
Jarrett Stidham is waiting in the wings, but it’s unclear whether the 2019 fourth-rounder will be ready to serve as the team’s starter come fall. Luckily for the Patriots, there’s expected to be a host of veteran signal-callers available this offseason — either by trade or free agency — and King believes there’s one, in particular, who Bill Belichick might really like.
“I have no idea who Bill Belichick sits in his office, feet up on the desk watching tape of who he says, ‘I really like that guy,’ whether or not the rest of the league likes him,” King said on NBC Sports. “One of the guys I think — and I know people are going to laugh at this — I think Bill Belichick would really like to work with is Andy Dalton because Andy Dalton is a football player, you know? He’s not Tom Brady. He’s not gonna go down in the pantheon, I get it. Guys who are gonna go down in the pantheon at age 32 are not available, OK? Russell Wilson’s not available. I think Andy Dalton would be a very compelling guy to either be their quarterback for a while or to be their bridge guy to the next quarterback or to take Jarrett Stidham under his wing as Brady did some this year and make the best of Jarrett Stidham for 2021 and beyond.”
It certainly wouldn’t be shocking if Dalton is shopped by the Cincinnati Bengals, who own the No. 1 overall pick this spring and all but surely are going to select Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow. The 32-year-old has one year remaining on his current contract valued at $17.5 million, per Spotrac, which isn’t a backbreaking figure for a QB with upside. As far as a short-term fix is concerned, you can do a lot worse than Dalton, a three-time Pro Bowl selection.
Going the Dalton route sounds both more logical and practical than Bart Scott’s plan, which has the Patriots sending a first-round pick to the Detroit Lions in exchange for Matthew Stafford.