Proposed ‘Bold’ Moves Gives Patriots a Star Receiver and Familiar Quarterback

Robert Kraft

Getty Robert Kraft could have a familiar quarterback in Foxborough again.

Despite the lingering need at quarterback, the New England Patriots could draft Ohio State star wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. and still save cash at quarterback.

ESPN’s Aaron Schatz outlined a “bold” series of moves for the Patriots to pair Harrison with former Patriots quarterback Jacoby Brissett. New England could sign Brissett, a free agent to be, inexpensively and draft Harrison with the No. 3 pick in the NFL Draft followed by quarterback in the later rounds.

“Brissett has made a career of surprisingly reasonable performances, with his best year coming with the 2022 Browns. And who was offensive coordinator of those Browns? None other than new Patriots coordinator Alex Van Pelt!” Schatz wrote. “With Brissett throwing to Harrison, the Patriots can then use a lower-round pick on a passer to develop behind Brissett. Michael Penix Jr. [Washington] might be an option in the second round, or Spencer Rattler [South Carolina] in the third or fourth round.”

Schatz claims Harrison as “the surer thing” than top quarterback prospects in this year’s draft, and the Patriots have struggled with their current core of receivers. In addition, the Patriots get a star receiver on a rookie contract instead of a veteran free agent deal amid a receiver room with two contracts valued at more than $10 million annually.

As for Brissett, Schatz called him “the perfect caretaker veteran quarterback”, and the Patriots don’t have that on the roster at the moment. Mac Jones has regressed the past two seasons, and Bailey Zappe never regained his impressive rookie play from 2022 during a tumultuous 2023 campaign in Foxborough.

Jacoby Brissett Has Played Consistently in His 5 Stops

Brissett, who played for the Washington Commanders last season, had a one-year, $8 million deal with the team. He has never made more than that annually amid his five career stops.

New England drafted Brissett in 2016 with a third round pick. He played in his rookie season due to Tom Brady‘s suspension from the Deflategate scandal and Jimmy Garoppolo‘s injury.

Brissett turned heads with 400 yards passing in three game appearances that year. It led to a contract with the Indianapolis Colts where he suddenly filled in for Andrew Luck in 2017, and Brissett threw for 3,098 yards and 13 touchdowns versus seven interceptions that year.

His tenure in Indy lasted four seasons amid 6,059 yards for 31 touchdowns versus 13 picks in 30 starts and 46 game appearances. Brissett then filled in for Deshaun Watson with the Cleveland Browns in 2022 and threw for 2,608 yards and 12 touchdowns versus six picks in 11 starts and 16 game appearances.

While Washington didn’t make him a full-time starter last season, he played effectively when he took snaps. Brissett completed 78.3% of his passes for 224 yards and three touchdowns versus no picks as he appeared in four games for 2023.

Marvin Harrison Jr. a Rarity for Jacoby Brissett

Harrison, meanwhile, would give Brissett the kind of pass catcher he hasn’t consistently enjoyed in his career. The former Ohio State star tallied 155 receptions for 2,613 yards and 31 touchdowns in three seasons with the Buckeyes.

Brissett had a 1,000-yard receiver in Amari Cooper with the Browns. While Brissett had T.Y. Hilton with the Colts, Hilton only produced one 1,000-yard season in that span.

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