The New England Patriots are a few weeks removed from wrapping up a disappointing 2020 campaign. Much of the attention centers on their quarterback situation, with Cam Newton seemingly out the door. With all that in mind, former Patriots star Tedy Bruschi has pinpointed which quarterback he thinks Bill Belichick should acquire this upcoming offseason.
Cam Newton is out the door in New England
In many ways, the 2020 season was a year to forget for the New England Patriots.
In the franchise’s first campaign removed from Tom Brady, the team struggled to find stability under center. Although the team didn’t initially bite on bringing in Cam Newton to begin the offseason, they put all their eggs in the basket with the former league MVP in 2020.
Newton had a promising showing in the first couple of weeks, but things quickly headed sideways. The 31-year-old put together an abysmal season with 2,657 passing yards, eight touchdown passes to 10 interceptions and held an 85.8 passer rating.
Each week’s production varied as he fell below 200 passing yards 10 times, including fewer than 100 yards on four occasions. Things didn’t fare much better with second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham when he received playing time.
All that now positions the franchise for a clean slate in 2021, which he has led former Patriots star Tedy Bruschi to pinpoint which quarterback Bill Belichick should attempt to add in the offseason.
Tedy Bruschi believes he knows which quarterback Bill Belichick should acquire
With the building assumption that the Patriots are moving off Cam Newton, it opens the door to other quarterback options.
Many names have quickly been tossed around as possible solutions. During a recent interview on WEEI sports radio, former Patriots star Tedy Bruschi singled out his choice at quarterback for Bill Belichick to pursue. (H/T Yahoo Sports)
“You better have some guts to come in here,” said Bruschi. “I’ll tell you that right now because from Day 1 it is going to be like, ‘OK, we’re ready for a Super Bowl championship.’ And [that quarterback] will have to deliver because that’s what [fans] are used to here.
” I think (Jimmy Garoppolo) Garoppolo knows that. I think Garoppolo could even say, ‘You know what, I can do it. I know how it’s done.’ To me, maybe that is the best option because of the amount of pressure the new guy is going to have. It’s going to be a hard, hard task.”
At this current juncture, Jimmy Garoppolo remains under contract with the San Francisco 49ers. However, Garoppolo’s future is in doubt as he’s struggled to work past injuries and some inconsistent play.
The 49ers hold control over his future as he heads into the fourth year of his five-year, $137.5 million deal. Garoppolo is on the books for roughly $26.2 million in base salary and bonuses for 2021, but San Francisco only holds a $2.8 million dead cap hit if they trade or cut him.
Will the Patriots explore that route?
The Patriots have their eyes on putting their disastrous 2020 season behind them, and what better way to do that than to find a new quarterback.
Jimmy Garoppolo certainly fits the bill having spent the first few years of his career with the franchise. The 29-year-old is well aware of the “Patriot way” and quite comfortable with the playbook in Josh McDaniels’ offense.
The question becomes how hard New England pursues Garoppolo if the 49ers are looking to move off him. His roughly $26.2 million next season is a little above their desired commitment to a quarterback. Still, they will have the financial flexibility to take it on with a projected $54.5 million in cap space.
There isn’t any knowing if Belichick is still high on Garoppolo, especially after his recent struggles with injuries. If there is no change in that regard, the avenue is there to make it happen if the 49ers move in another direction at quarterback.
Contract numbers courtesy of Spotrac.