Patriots Listed as Top Destination for 9-Time Pro Bowl QB

Patriots quarterback is a question Jerod Mayo wants to answer. Could Russell Wilson be a factor?

Patriots quarterback is a question Jerod Mayo wants to answer. Could Russell Wilson be a factor?

In the wake of the release of Russell Wilson this week, it is no surprise that the Patriots immediately emerged as a much-discussed potential destination for the wayward Bronco, who is now a former Bronco. There are a handful of teams with openings under center—the Falcons, Raiders, Steelers—who come up whenever an available quarterback is mentioned. New England is among them. But does Wilson make sense as a potential Patriots quarterback?

It’s a long shot. But at The Big Lead, the Patriots are listed as the top potential destination for Wilson, a 12-year veteran and nine-time Pro Bowl QB whose career went sideways when he left Seattle for Denver two years ago. The Broncos will eat $85 million in dead cap money just to watch Wilson play elsewhere.

Of course, Wilson, who is 35, needs to land a job first, and that won’t be an easy task. Though he can now sign a bargain deal—Denver is footing the bill—he will want to start and there might be reluctance from any team on handing Wilson a job. He has gone 17-27 in his last three years as a starter.

Free to Draft Marvin Harrison Jr.?

But the Patriots obviously have a gaping hole at quarterback, as well as the No. 3 pick. Signing Wilson would allow the Patriots to look elsewhere with that choice. As the Big Lead’s Ryan Phillips wrote of signing Wilson:

“It would open a whole world of possibilities for New England. If the franchise could get Wilson relatively cheaply on a prove-it contract, then surround him with a ton of talent, that might be a better option than having to develop someone like Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels.

“With Wilson secured, the Patriots could select Marvin Harrison Jr. at No. 3. He’d instantly become the best receiver the franchise has had since Randy Moss left. Alternatively, they could opt to beef up a weak offensive line by selecting Joe Alt or Olumuyiwa Fashanu to be their franchise left tackle. Or, they could opt to trade down and stockpile a ton of picks to go with their more than $100 million in salary cap space, completely revamping a generally weak roster.”

Patriots Quarterback Spots Could Be Filled by Rookie & Vet

Of course, there is nothing to say that the Patriots can’t do both of the above. The team does want to draft a quarterback for the future in this draft, with a solid Top 3 available, and some good secondary gambles—J.J. McCarthy, Bo Nix, Michael Penix—also on the board, New England should come out of this draft with a good, young option.

But they could still sign Wilson and commit to him in 2024, letting the rookie sit and develop on the bench. This roster has a mass of holes from top to bottom, especially on the offensive side of the ball, that drafting a rookie quarterback and plopping him on the field without significant upgrades elsewhere would be irresponsible.

Drafting a quarterback, signing Wilson on the cheap and using the Patriots’ $100 million in cap space to retool the offensive line and add receivers gives the Pats a buffer for whomever they draft and allows them to be competitive behind Wilson next year.

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