Freddie Mitchell still doesn’t like the New England Patriots.
The former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver played for the franchise from 2001 until 2004. In fact, Mitchell talked a lot of trash about the Patriots leading into the team’s Super Bowl XXXIX at the conclusion of the 2004 season.
“All he does is talk,” Belichick told Sports Illustrated. “He’s terrible. And you can print that. I was glad when he was in the game.”
15 years later, Mitchell is still taking shots at the Patriots. In light of the Houston Astros‘ recent cheating scandal in which it was revealed they stole signs during the 2017 and 2018 seasons — they won the title in 2017 — the former receiver referenced Tom Brady and the Patriots’ own cheating scandals in a recent Tweet.
Patriots Have Been Involved In Their Own Scandals
Needless to say, the Patriots have been embroiled in their own scandals during their dynasty run. During the 2007 season, the team dealt with “Spygate,” which saw evidence of the team illegally videotaping opposing teams’ signals. At the conclusion of the 2014 season, the Patriots were faced with the “Deflategate” scandal because of deflated footballs used during the team’s AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Considering Mitchell’s Eagles lost 24-21 to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX, it’s safe to assume that time has not healed all wounds.
Andy Dalton to the Patriots?
While the Patriots’ concern at the moment is re-signing Brady, New England could be forced to focus their attention on finding a replacement.
In the event Brady actually leaves the Patriots, New England would likely have to scramble to find another veteran quarterback. According to Peter King of NBC Sports, the Cincinnati Bengals‘ Andy Dalton just makes the most sense.
“I’ll preface this by saying none of this logic matters if Bill Belichick has already decided he wants to start a new era that doesn’t include a 43-year-old quarterback who makes a lot of money. Belichick might want to begin anew with a quarterback he feels is good and who costs significantly less—someone like 32-year-old Andy Dalton; the Patriots would probably have to pay a third or fourth-round pick for Dalton, who has a year left on his contract and no future in Cincinnati. (The Patriots have two thirds and two fourths, including a likely third-round compensatory pick.) If Belichick makes up his mind that it’s time to move on from Brady, then my argument is moot. Dalton, by the way, would be my pick to start in New England next year if Brady goes. Belichick would love Dalton. He’s a quiet, intense, lunchpail Texan who makes no excuses. And Dalton would embrace the Patriot ethos.”
Dalton has one year left on his deal, but that’s for just $17.5 million. Considering the Bengals will probably draft quarterback Joe Burrow with the top overall pick, Cincinnati will likely be desperate to just get rid of Dalton for a mid-round draft pick in exchange.
Compared to the quarterbacks on the free agent market, Dalton is the most accomplished. While Teddy Bridgewater has higher upside, Ryan Tannehill has more recent success and Marcus Mariota is younger, none of those quarterbacks have been consistently great.
At his peak, Dalton was a three-time Pro Bowler and led the Bengals to four consecutive postseason appearances. While recent years haven’t been kind to the 32-year-old quarterback, a winning franchise such as the Patriots could help him find success again.