20 Questions for the 2020 Patriots: Add a veteran QB?

Andy Hart and Ryan Hannable
June 24, 2020 - 12:01 pm
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The Patriots are in the midst of the most interesting, important offseason in more than two decades. Tom Brady moved on to Tampa Bay. Bill Belichick remains in place with a veteran roster. There are plenty of questions and even more plentiful opinions regarding the defending AFC East champions. Over the next few weeks WEEI.com will ask and offer up answers to 20 of the most critical questions facing the 2020 Patriots.

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Today’s question: Should the Patriots still add another veteran quarterback like Cam Newton or Colin Kaepernick?

Hannable: The Patriots absolutely should not add a veteran quarterback like Cam Newton or Colin Kaepernick, and there are a number of reasons why. For starters, what message would that send second-year player Jarrett Stidham? The Auburn product has only thrown four passes in the NFL and bringing in a veteran to likely start would be an indication the organization doesn't believe in him, which could potentially damage his future years with the organization. Secondly, if the team was going to bring in someone else to start this coming season, that time has passed. While it was a unique and different offseason, the team still used the last few months to lay the foundation on an offense without Tom Brady and a new quarterback would be way behind.

In addition, the Patriots need to see what they have in Stidham and the only way to do that is to let him play. If he struggles over the course of the season, the team may need to search for the next guy in the offseason. But, if he does well and shows promise, the team has its QB of the future. Bringing in a veteran and not letting Stidham play would delay this process and the Patriots need to figure out the quarterback of the future as soon as possible.

Hart: Hell no. Sure names like Newton and Kaepernick are sexy and intriguing, but neither guy makes any sense at all for Belichick’s 2020 Patriots. Like it or not, New England is Jarrett Stidham’s team. Maybe even more so than competing for a playoff spot or a division title, this fall is about finding out whether Stidham is the quarterback of the future. There is talent and potential there. There are also even more questions with the second-year former fourth-round pick who’s played 15 NFL snaps, thrown four passes and has an ugly, benching-worthy pick-6 on his short pro resume.

Signing a guy like Newton would simply be spinning your wheels as a franchise. It would be a Band Aid, nothing more or less. Sure Newton was once good, but now the former MVP is damaged goods in his 30s. He just doesn’t fit the Patriots’ needs on or off the field. Kaepernick makes even less sense. He’s three years removed from NFL action and even further removed from being considered a starting-caliber or franchise QB.

For better or worse, Belichick has put his eggs – his football team, actually – in Stidham’s basket. The Patriots will have a new-look offense with a new, young quarterback in 2020. That post-Tom Brady process has been rolling along for months. It is what it is. And no one can really be sure how it will play out. But one thing that is for sure, neither Newton nor Kaepernick make sense at his point for New England.

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