The NFL QB carousel is, without question, the most intriguing storyline in the league this offseason. Thursday brought a resolution to one of the more high-profile QB situations.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, the Philadelphia Eagles are sending Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts for a second and third-round pick.
Most of us won’t lose any sleep over Wentz going elsewhere as there are still several intriguing options available to New England.
Sports Illustrated’s Conor Orr explored not one but two of them. Both options will be familiar to Patriots fans.
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Orr Envisions a Trade for Jimmy Garoppolo While Signing Jacoby Brissett
Orr predicts the San Francisco 49ers will trade Garoppolo back to the Patriots. New England would also sign Brissett to add depth.
Here is Orr’s breakdown:
San Francisco has concluded that it simply can’t make good music with Garoppolo anymore. The two franchises re-swap second-round picks, and Bill Belichick’s original Brady heir is back on the Patriots with Josh McDaniels. Favor returned. New England can also shop in the middle tier of an advantageous free-agent market to upgrade the available weapons a bit and add Brissett as a long-term backup option. With uncertainty surrounding another season during COVID-19, Brissett would be an integral signing that could keep New England afloat in the AFC East.
What happens next: Rumors of the 49ers longing for one of the veteran QBs potentially available (like Kirk Cousins) persist, but could the Kyle Shanahan–John Lynch regime be eyeing a more permanent and sustainable solution at quarterback?
In Orr’s scenario, the 49ers would be trading Garoppolo to the Patriots to stockpile enough draft assets to facilitate a move to No. 2, which would result in San Francisco taking BYU star Zach Wilson. Aside from Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, Wilson is primarily viewed as the top young quarterback option in the draft.
The 49ers would be obtaining a potential franchise QB if things shook out this way for them.
One Maybe, But Not Likely Both
Unfortunately, it’s hard to see such a positive future for the Patriots in this deal. Neither Garoppolo nor Brissett seems like the long-term options the Patriots need. New England could always draft their QB of the future this year, but quite honestly, it’s tough to get too excited about Garoppolo and Brissett competing for the starting job.
The Patriots’ best options are to attempt to go big (Deshaun Watson or Matt Ryan trade), find the right reclamation project (trade for Marcus Mariota), trade up to grab Wilson, Trey Lance, or Justin Fields, or to stand pat at No. 15 and draft Mac Jones while also bringing back Cam Newton and another veteran to solidify depth at the position.
There is a chance the Patriots could begin the season with Newton, Mariota, and Jones. That wouldn’t be a horrible QB room, and the team would have multiple options in place. In any case, seeing the Patriots bring back one of their former quarterbacks is reasonable, but not both of them.