The New England Patriots are in prime position to obtain their quarterback of the future with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

But that might not be the only quarterback the Patriots add this offseason.

There’s growing speculation that the Patriots could also opt for a veteran signal-caller, allowing them time to bring along and develop their young franchise quarterback.

There will be several veteran QBs on the free-agent market if the Patriots do indeed go this route. And it seems, given what MassLive’s Mark Daniels, Chris Mason and Karen Guregian heard at the NFL Scouting Combine, that Baker Mayfield is in the running for the Patriots.

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“There is internal support for Mayfield on several different levels in the Patriots organization,” MassLive wrote. “That makes sense considering the quarterback has connections with people in the front office — Eliot Wolf and Alonzo Highsmith — as well as new offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt.”

Mayfield had a bounce-back season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2023 by starting all 17 games and completing 64.3% of his passes for 4,044 yards with 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

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Van Pelt and Mayfield spent two seasons together during their time with the Cleveland Browns. Wolf also worked in Cleveland’s front office when the Browns selected Mayfield No. 1 overall in 2018. Those connections seem to be fueling New England’s interest in him now as ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler echoed MassLive’s report that the Patriots could target Mayfield. NFL Draft guru has had rumors of Mayfield going to New England, too.

But there is a deterrent that could keep the Patriots from going all in and signing Mayfield.

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“However, with a rumored salary as high as $40 million per season, it would be a shock to some in the organization if the Patriots aggressively pursued Mayfield in free agency,” MassLive wrote.

NFL free agency officially begins March 13 but the legal tampering period begins two days prior.

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