The Patriots are in a much, much better spot than they were a few weeks ago.
Major concerns for New England still surround the most important position on the field, however.
The Patriots are giving Cam Newton another chance after his underwhelming first season in Foxboro. New England also has Jarrett Stidham on its quarterback depth chart, and the jury effectively still is out on whether the 24-year-old is a capable starting signal-caller.
Bill Belichick and Co. all but surely will address the QB position in next month’s draft, but is there a chance the Patriots make a run at a veteran? One AFC executive apparently still isn’t ruling out New England reuniting with Jimmy Garoppolo.
“Some league personnel can’t help but wonder if there’s a bigger play for New England,” Jeremy Fowler wrote for ESPN.com. “Quarterback is a position that keeps coming up, despite the decision to re-sign Cam Newton for another year at up to $13.6 million (based on incentives).”
“(Jimmy) Garoppolo still makes too much sense for them,” the AFC exec told Fowler.
The Patriots reportedly have reached out to the 49ers about Garoppolo this offseason, but those conversations obviously haven’t gone anywhere. And this shouldn’t come as a surprise, as it would be foolish of San Francisco to move on from Jimmy G unless a clear upgrade under center was accessible. Some thought Garoppolo could become available as a chain reaction to a potential Deshaun Watson trade, but the Houston Texans — for reasons more than one — probably are not dealing their franchise QB any time soon, if at all.
All told, Patriots fans shouldn’t get their hopes up on the idea of Garoppolo putting a New England uniform back on this fall.