NFL

Peter King discussed the Patriots’ quarterback options beyond the 2020 season

"The bottom line is they have a mess on their hands because it's clearly not Cam Newton for next year," said Mike Florio.

Jimmy Garoppolo
Jimmy Garoppolo with the 49ers in 2020. Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

In the first season without Tom Brady since 1999, the Patriots have struggled to develop a consistent passing game.

Through 13 games, New England has a combined eight touchdown passes against 14 interceptions. The team’s record, currently 6-7, might even belie the difficulties encountered on offense. The Patriots are projected to have less than a 10 percent chance to make the postseason, and the upcoming offseason could mean yet another quarterback search.

Cam Newton, New England’s starter in 2020, was signed in July to a one-year contract. At 31, and with an up-and-down 6-6 record as a starter to this point, he might not be the long-term answer.

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As Bill Belichick surveys potential replacement candidates in the upcoming offseason, NFL insider Peter King of NBC Sports believes the most notable possible free agent is out of reach.

“I mean I’m sure Bill Belichick would love to have Dak Prescott,” said King in a recent interview with Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, “but I don’t think Bill Belichick, in a year when the [salary] cap is going from 198 to 175, I don’t think he would want Dak Prescott at 38 or 40-million dollars a year on average. It’s just not a good play when you’re trying to rebuild your team long term, in my opinion.”

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Other possibilities, like Colts quarterbacks Philip Rivers and (former Patriot) Jacoby Brissett, were dismissed by King, though one name Florio listed caught his eye.

Jimmy Garoppolo, drafted by the Patriots as a second-round pick in 2014, would be on New England’s list, according to King.

“I mean it’s possible, if the 49ers decide in the offseason — which they may do — that a guy who at this point it looks like is going to miss in the span of three years 21 games,” King explained. “And as Bill Parcells always said, ‘The most important thing about ability is availability.’ And he just missed too much time.

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“So if he’s on the street, I could definitely see [Belichick] and McDaniels — if he’s back there — be very serious about getting him.”

The final word came from Florio, who gave a blunt assessment of the Patriots’ future at the quarterback position.

“The bottom line is they have a mess on their hands because it’s clearly not Cam Newton for next year,” concluded Florio. “It’s likely not Jarrett Stidham. It’s not Brian Hoyer. They’re going to have to find a quarterback to turn this thing around.”

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