An NFL writer believes the Patriots will bring back Cam Newton, but he doesn’t think the 2015 NFL MVP will be the sole answer to New England’s quarterback issue.
The quarterback-needy Patriots find themselves in a fascinating spot, as the start of the new league year nears. The QB market this offseason has a chance to be unprecedently robust, but it remains to be seen how many truly appealing options at the position there will be for Bill Belichick and Co. New England’s upcoming first-round draft pick also is higher than it’s been for the franchise in years, but even 15th overall might be too late to land one of the top QB prospects this year.
ESPN’s Mike Clay doesn’t believe the Patriots will patiently wait for their turn to pick on Day 1 of the draft in late April. Clay predicts New England to trade up for the Detroit Lions’ pick at No. 7.
“New England is in the quarterback market but would need to move up from 15th overall to land one of this year’s elite prospects,” Clay wrote. “We don’t know if they prefer Ohio State’s Fields or North Dakota State’s Trey Lance here, but a trade up makes sense regardless of who they select. Fields has an ideal frame with terrific accuracy and rushing ability. Newton would return as a bridge in this scenario, but Fields would, of course, be the future.”
The Patriots and the Lions historically have had good rapport and have been trade partners on multiple occasions in recent years. It’s unclear whether the sides still are on great terms, however, as Bob Quinn has left Detroit and Matt Patricia rejoined New England’s coaching staff after his firing as Lions coach.
In any event, Clay isn’t the only football mind who is expecting the Patriots to make some noise during the first round of the draft. This checks out, as there should be a sense of urgency in Foxboro given how last season unfolded.