Colin Cowherd Predicts Next Patriots QB After Hypothetical Deshaun Watson Trade

Marcus Mariota to New England? Cowherd connects the dots


February 17, 2021

Here’s the crazy thing about this NFL offseason: Each move involving a quarterback — via trade, free agency or the draft — figures to have a trickle-down effect across the league.

It’s a classic case of “QB Dominoes,” as FOX Sports 1’s Colin Cowherd describes it, and it could make for an unpredictable few months.

Cowherd recently explained how Deshaun Watson landing with the San Francisco 49ers ultimately would pave the way for Jimmy Garoppolo to rejoin the New England Patriots.

It appears Cowherd’s stance has changed, however, as he now believes the Carolina Panthers will land Watson, with the Houston Texans acquiring quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, running back Christian McCaffrey and a bundle of first-round draft picks in return.

Cowherd on Tuesday laid out a step-by-step summary of what exactly this blockbuster would mean for the NFL quarterback market.

As part of Cowherd’s hypothetical fallout, the Patriots would acquire Marcus Mariota, who has been the subject of trade rumors with Derek Carr still serving as the Las Vegas Raiders’ starting QB.

“Not a big cap hit. Played in the AFC. He knows the conference. He’s an experienced kid,” Cowherd said on FS1 of Mariota potentially joining Bill Belichick in Foxboro. “And the reality is, I think after one year with Cam (Newton), it makes sense — an athletic quarterback who’s a fairly accurate thrower.

“I believe the offensive line — I think you’re gonna see a better version of what they were last year on offense. The defense we know is getting better because guys opt back in. But I can see them going and getting Marcus Mariota.”

Cowherd isn’t the first person to link Mariota to New England. And it’s an intriguing idea, if nothing else, because Mariota might be attainable at a reasonable cost and his brief work in relief of Carr this past season suggests there’s still talent with which to work.

After all, Mariota, drafted second overall by the Tennessee Titans in 2015, is just 27 years old. Perhaps he’ll reach his full potential in the right situation, whether that’s New England or elsewhere.

All told, the Patriots desperately need steady quarterback play in 2021 after Cam Newton struggled throughout 2020. Otherwise, New England could face its second consecutive losing season while Tom Brady seeks another Super Bowl title with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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