All we really know about the New England Patriots’ quarterback situation in 2020 is someone other than Tom Brady will be under center. After that, it’s still very much up in the air.
It sure seems like the Patriots are content with letting second-year pro Jarrett Stidham and veteran journeyman Brian Hoyer battle it out for the starting job if and when training camp actually begins. New England opting against drafting a QB in last week’s draft seemed to reinforce that notion.
But what if they instead decide to take a chance on an unsigned free-agent veteran? The most obvious choice, of course, is Andy Dalton after the Cincinnati Bengals released their longtime QB on Thursday. Not long after that, reports surfaced indicating the Patriots might have some interest in the TCU product.
Apparently, oddsmakers can see it happening and are getting out in front to limit Patriots exposure. FanDuel Sportsbook currently pegs the Patriots as favorites to sign Dalton.
Here are the updated odds, per FanDuel:
Interestingly, however, Dalton isn’t the favorite to be the Patriots’ Week 1 starter. Stidham remains a pretty clear favorite to win the job, but Dalton is right there at 2-to-1. It’s also worth noting both Dalton and free agent Cam Newton have better odds to be the starter than Hoyer.
Here’s how the odds break down for the Patriots’ Week 1 starter.
Brian Lewerke +3000
Speaking of Newton, FanDuel has the Patriots as +220 to sign the former MVP; Jacksonville currently sits at 2-to-1 favorites for Newton.
Dalton has been tied to the Patriots all offseason. While they might be the favorite to sign him, it still feels like a slight long shot at this point. If you were literally betting your own money on it, wouldn’t you look elsewhere?
WIth the coronavirus pandemic throwing the NFL offseason schedule into disarray, the Patriots might feel best just rolling with Stidham and Hoyer — as both are familiar with the system — instead of trying to onboard someone like Dalton or Newton when they don’t know for sure when they’ll be able to get on the field. They might kick the tires, but the Patriots are also up against the salary cap, so it feels like a lot would have to change for this to happen.
Then again, with the Patriots, you can’t ever rule anything out.