Instead of having veteran Jacoby Brissett, high-upside signal-caller Justin Fields and the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft to address their quarterback situation, the New England Patriots have Brissett, their third overall selection and a modest sixth-round pick in the 2025 draft.

Fields was traded from the Chicago Bears to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday. Pittsburgh sent a conditional sixth-rounder to Chicago for the 2021 first-round pick. If Fields plays more than half of Pittsburgh’s snaps in 2024, unlikely given Russell Wilson is viewed as the team’s starter, that conditional sixth-round pick becomes a fourth-rounder.

It feels like a worthy investment for a team like the Steelers, who don’t have their long-term answer at quarterback written in stone.

Aren’t the Patriots in a similar spot?

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New England obviously is in a more favorable situation given where it is drafting. The Patriots are expected to draft a quarterback — likely Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels — in late April. They still could have done so if they traded for Fields. The hope is said quarterback prospect develops into the franchise signal-caller and remains in New England for years to come.

But is it a sure thing? Well, no. There’s volatility when talking about draft prospects, even ones ranked as high as Maye and Daniels. And this is the most important position in sports we’re talking about. A sixth-round pick for a quarterback, who has started 38 games in three seasons and has untapped potential, doesn’t feel like a crazy ask.

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A second- or third-round pick? That would not have been wise given where New England’s roster stands. The Patriots need to address quarterback, offensive tackle and wide receiver in the draft. But given that sixth-round picks usually turn into depth pieces or special teams players — yes, Tom Brady was a sixth-rounder — the move for Fields could have been worth it.

The Patriots received a sixth-rounder for Mac Jones last week, too, though that pick is in 2024 not 2025.

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This also isn’t to say that Fields automatically would become the starter in 2024 or long-term answer after that. It simply would have been done to acquire a quarterback and see if said QB could compete for that spot. It would have been another dart throw in hopes of hitting a bullseye.

Perhaps Fields would have fit well with Patriots first-year offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt. Perhaps his ability to use his legs would have helped given New England still needs a starting-caliber offensive tackle. Or perhaps it never works out and the Patriots cut Fields in August and move forward with Brissett and the rookie. Or perhaps Fields plays in New England in 2024 and becomes a free agent after the season.

That’s no longer an option for the Patriots. Some surely will be happy about the decision not to trade for Fields. But if New England opts not to draft a quarterback No. 3 overall, or if that quarterback doesn’t work out long-term, the Patriots likely will be kicking themselves for keeping their 2025 sixth-round pick.

What do you think? Do you think the Patriots should have traded for Fields? Or are you happy New England stayed away? Sound off in the comments below.

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