Tom Brady is officially leaving the New England Patriots. The 42-year-old, who recently entered free agency, announced his departure from the team on Tuesday after two decades. Subsequently, it was reported that Brady has agreed to a contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While Brady's move to the Buccaneers will be up for a major debate, 'Who will be Patriots QB in 2020?' is a question that must be on the mind of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
After Brady's exit, Belichick has just two quarterbacks in his roster - Cody Kessler and Jarrett Stidham. Kessler, who is yet to play for the Patriots, could be automatically ruled out. That leaves them with Jarrett Stidham, who could potentially be the answer to the 'Who will be Patriots QB in 2020?' question. The 23-year-old did impress in the pre-season in 2019 but featured only thrice in the regular season. Stidham threw for just 14 yards and completed just one interception last season.
With Brady gone, the quarterback could well grow into the role of a starter but may need time to develop, especially with his ceiling currently unknown.
Heading into the free agency, there could be a number of veteran options that could act as stopgaps till Patriots find a definite answer the 'Who will replace Tom Brady?' question. Let us have a look at some of the options.
Filling the Brady hole: Hearing New England is attempting to deal draft picks in exchange for Jaguars QB Nick Foles woof woof— NFL Insider Leroy (@LeroyInsider) March 17, 2020
The Cincinnati Bengals quarterback would be expected to be on the move with the Bengals looking to draft in highly-rated Joe Burrows as the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. A 9-year starter, Dalton has thrown 204 touchdowns to 118 interceptions in the league. The 32-year-old is a three-time All-Pro and could prove the experienced option for Belichick.
The 30-year-old is an NFL MVP but is on the market after Carolina Panthers secured a move for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The former No. 1 draft pick is one of the most gifted quarterbacks in the league but injuries have derailed his career in recent seasons. Two shoulder surgeries and a foot surgery mean Newton was been restricted to just two appearances last season.
Another instance of an impending move, making a quarterback available for trade. The former Patriots quarterback could be traded by the Indianapolis Colts after they reportedly signed free agent Philip Rivers. The 2016 draft pick was traded to the Colts after just his rookie season in Boston. However, trading Brissett back could make sense for the Patriots, especially considering that he is about to enter the final season of the two-year deal he signed in 2019.
The Patriots have the No. 23 pick in this year’s draft. However, the 23rd pick could possibly mean losing out on the quarterback options like Tua Tagovailova, Justin Herbert and Jordan Love. It'll interesting to see if Bill Belichick does choose to go down this road.
Recently, it was reported that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's conversation with Brady did not end well, which might have led to his Patriots exit. Some reports also suggest that it was Belichick who restructured Brady's contract with the Patriots last summer.