Patriots Could Land Familiar Quarterback Amid Latest Hire

Jerod Mayo

Jerod Mayo's hire of Alex Van Pelt could lead to the Patriots bringing back Jacoby Brissett.

As the New England Patriots bring in Alex Van Pelt as the new offensive coordinator, a familiar quarterback in Jacoby Brissett could come along, too.

SB Nation’s Pats Pulpit writer Bernd Buchmasser suggested the idea. Brissett, a 2016 third-round draft pick who started two games that year. Brissett completed 61% of his passes for 400 yards as he filled in for the suspended Tom Brady due to the Deflategate scandal and Jimmy Garoppolo‘s injury.

After New England, Brissett had stints with the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins before he worked with Van Pelt for the Cleveland Browns in 2022, Buchmasser wrote. Brissett played for the Washington Commanders in 2023.

“Starting the first 11 games of the season in place of a suspended Deshaun Watson, he played some of the best football of his career,” Buchmasser wrote about Brissett’s time in Cleveland. “Brissett completed 236 of 369 passes [64.0%] for 2,608 yards, 12 touchdowns and 6 interceptions while also averaging 5.0 yards per carry as a runner and finding the end zone twice.”

“He left after only one season, but might now be a realistic free agency target for his former club due to his experience with both Van Pelt and the Patriots,” Buchmasser added. “If New England wants to add a mentor-type presence to its quarterback room, the 31-year-old could be atop the wish list regardless of who else the club brings in at the position.”

Brissett sat behind Sam Howell in Washington for 2023 amid only three game appearances. In that span, Brissett completed 78.3% of his passes for 224 yards and three touchdowns.

In eight seasons, Brissett has 10,574 yards passing for 51 touchdowns versus 23 interceptions in 48 career starts. He has an 18-30 mark with most of the starts coming during his Indianapolis stint where the Colts went without Andrew Luck due to injury in 2017 and a sudden retirement in 2019.

Brissett wouldn’t cost the Patriots too much. He had a one-year, $8 million deal with the Commanders last season.

Alex Van Pelt Has Praise of Jacoby Brissett

Van Pelt had positive things to say about Brissett during their time together in Cleveland.

“I think our system does benefit him and allows us to use him under center, play-action and things that suit his play style,” Van Pelt said via Buchmasser.

After Brissett for much of 2022, Van Pelt had Watson to work with again for six games followed by a resurgent Joe Flacco in 2023. Watson completed 61.4% of his passes for 1,115 yards and seven touchdowns versus four interceptions before a season-ending shoulder injury.

Flacco stepped in as one of four different starters in place of Watson with 1,616 yards for 13 touchdowns and led the Browns to the playoffs. Despite the carousel of starters, the Browns amassed an 11-6 record, and four different starters won games in that span.

Alex Van Pelt Brings QB Experience as Coach

Van Pelt brings his own prior quarterbacking experience to the table. He played at Pitt for college followed by a backup role in the NFL from 1993 to 2003, primarily with the Buffalo Bills.

“He’s really the perfect Patriots-type coach — former player,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said on Friday. “This is a guy who absolutely loves football. This is a total football tape nerd. History football nerd. This is the guy who lives and breathes it, which is literally perfect for the New England Patriots.”

Read More