The New England Patriots could need a new quarterback this offseason for the first time in 20 years.
How will the Patriots proceed if Tom Brady, their starter since 2001, signs elsewhere in free agency? They’re preparing for that possibility by evaluating potential quarterback trades, according to a report Sunday from NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo.
“(The Patriots’) No. 1 option of for Brady to come back,” Garafolo said on NFL Network. “(Team owner) Robert Kraft has said that. I don’t need to give you any sources on that. But this team does not want to be caught flat-footed, and they are working through their contingency plans behind the scenes, from what I’m told, and amongst those plans might be a trade for a veteran quarterback. There’s going to be a number of options. There’s going to be a lot of moving pieces with the quarterbacks this offseason.
“So we’ll see. If Brady doesn’t come back, look for this team to act quickly to see what they could do about possibly bringing someone in there.”
The Super Bowl LIV @NFLGameDay Notebook with @MikeGarafolo:
— The #Patriots are willing to pay Tom Brady in excess of $30M if that's what's required to keep him.
— The #Chargers among teams expected to make a push.
— New England's fall back options include trading for a QB. pic.twitter.com/G4dxkUQmTh
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 2, 2020
Potential trade candidates for the Patriots include Derek Carr, Cam Newton, Andy Dalton and Nick Foles. Carr’s current team, the Las Vegas Raiders, is “poised to pursue” Brady if he does not re-sign with the Patriots before free agency, according to a report Sunday from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
New England also could pursue a soon-to-be free agent like Marcus Mariota or Teddy Bridgewater this offseason. Jameis Winston and/or Ryan Tannehill could become available, as well, if either does not re-sign with his current team.
The Patriots currently have quarterbacks Jarrett Stidham and Cody Kessler under contract for the 2020 season. Brady is set to hit free agency March 18.