That said, King isn’t exactly confident in the prediction, as he also outlined several reasons why the veteran quarterback might take his talents elsewhere. King pointed to the Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders and Tennessee Titans as potential landing spots should Brady leave New England in free agency.
So, what will the Patriots do if Brady departs after 20 seasons with the organization that selected him in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft? Who will be New England’s starting quarterback in 2020?
King recently floated Andy Dalton as a possibility, and the NFL insider doubled down Monday, explaining the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback is his “pick” to replace Brady next season if the six-time Super Bowl champion leaves New England.
Here’s what King wrote:
Belichick might want to begin anew with a quarterback he feels is good and who costs significantly less—someone like 32-year-old Andy Dalton; the Patriots would probably have to pay a third or fourth-round pick for Dalton, who has a year left on his contract and no future in Cincinnati. (The Patriots have two thirds and two fourths, including a likely third-round compensatory pick.) If Belichick makes up his mind that it’s time to move on from Brady, then my argument is moot. Dalton, by the way, would be my pick to start in New England next year if Brady goes. Belichick would love Dalton. He’s a quiet, intense, lunchpail Texan who makes no excuses. And Dalton would embrace the Patriot ethos.
The Patriots theoretically could turn to Jarrett Stidham, a fourth-round pick in 2019, should they part ways with Brady. Taking a quarterback in the NFL draft is also an option. There also are several other notable quarterbacks available in free agency this offseason. But Dalton, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, has shown enough promise throughout his nine-year tenure with Cincinnati that it’s fair to wonder whether he could reach a new level alongside Bill Belichick in New England.
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