Bart Scott is expecting another mediocre season from the Patriots in 2023.
New England posted sub-.500 regular-season records in two of the first three seasons following Tom Brady’s departure. The lone exception was the 2021 campaign, which saw the Patriots go 10-7 and get boat raced in the wild-card round by the division-champion Buffalo Bills. Bill Belichick and company made some promising moves on paper this offseason, but a markedly improved Patriots team in 2023 is far from a guarantee.
Scott isn’t counting on it, as he believes New England’s “ceiling” for the upcoming campaign is ending up with the 16th overall pick in the 2024 draft.
“Listen, life after a Hall of Fame, generational talent is always hard,” Scott said Tuesday on ESPN’s “First Take.” “Everybody within the division had to deal with it. Tom Brady tormented this division year after year after year. Now, I feel like the Patriots are where the Spurs were when Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard left. I think they’re searching for an identity. They always had the best coaches, had their players prepared for the situations. They had the most versatile players, guys that could do everything. Now, it’s different. Now, they have the fourth-best quarterback within the division.”
There’s a chance — albeit a slim one — that the Patriots don’t enter the upcoming season with the worst quarterback in the AFC East. Lamar Jackson is available, wants out of Baltimore and apparently is interested in taking his talents to Foxboro.