The New England Patriots had a forgettable 2020 season in their first post-Tom Brady campaign. Brady went on to lead his team to a Super Bowl, while New England is still trying to figure out its next franchise QB.
With that in mind, here are three likely starters for the Patriots in 2021.
3. Cam Newton
Yes, the year didn't go as planned with Cam Newton under center. But the former MVP made it clear that his battle with COVID-19 played a role in his poor season. Newton left much to be desired in the passing game (2,657 yards and 8 TDs), but he also posted the second-best completion percentage of his career (65.8%) and added 12 scores on the ground. With decent options around him, Newton could have a solid second season in New England. And if the Pats keep abstaining from trading for available QBs, a Newton reunion may be a low-cost option for their starter in 2021.
2. Jacoby Brissett
Speaking of reunions, the Patriots could pursue a familiar face in Jacoby Brissett this offseason. After a four-year stint with the Indianapolis Colts, Brissett finds himself as a free agent with no strong claim to being an NFL starter. He would be a very attainable option for New England who knows the system and could compete at the very least with Jarrett Stidham. In 15 starts for the Colts in 2019 he registered 18 TDs to just 6 INTs, so he is capable if the Pats strike out on nabbing their franchise QB this offseason.
1. Mac Jones
Now this seems like a pairing with the potential to come to fruition. Jones is coming off of a third-place finish in Heisman voting after throwing for 4,500 yards and 41 TDs (with just 4 INTs). However, Jones' draft stock is rising heading into April's draft, so New England will likely need to trade up from No. 15 to select the Alabama quarterback. Still, in a draft class with boom-or-bust QBs, Jones seems like the one with the least potential to burn his new team. If New England wants to secure their starter of the future, then a move up for Jones makes a ton of sense.
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