The Patriots aren’t “enamored” with quarterbacks that are set to become free agents later in March, NFL Network’s Mike Giardi reported Wednesday. However, Giardi notes that it could change if the 49ers and Raiders make Jimmy Garoppolo and Marcus Mariota, respectively, available.
The current list of set-to-be free-agent quarterbacks contains some familiar faces. Former Patriots quarterback Jacoby Brissett is a free agent after spending the last four seasons with the Colts. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who’s also played for the Bills and the Jets among others, will be a free agent, too. Alex Smith will become a free agent as the Washington Football Team will reportedly release him, and Mitch Trubisky will become a free agent after four inconsistent seasons in Chicago.
Then there’s Cam Newton, who started all but one game for the Patriots last season, and Brian Hoyer, who was the team’s No. 2 quarterback until Week 6, when he was demoted to third-string.
Newton and Fitzpatrick have expressed public interest in playing in New England. Some insiders believe that Newton could end up returning to the Patriots and The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin reported that Hoyer could return as well.
As for Garoppolo and Mariota, they’re both still under contract with their current squads. Garoppolo, who has two years remaining on his current deal, has been speculated to get moved by the 49ers, but recent reports suggest that he’s likely to stay barring a huge change.
Mariota, who has one year left on his deal, is more likely to get moved as he has a $10.75 million cap hit for next season and is currently sitting behind Derek Carr. With the Raiders likely to be in cap trouble, insiders have speculated that Mariota would get moved either via trade or release. While Mariota is still under contract with the Raiders, he is actually the betting favorite to be the Patriots’ starting quarterback in Week 1 of the 2021 season.
Some other notable free-agent quarterbacks include Andy Dalton of the Cowboys, Tyrod Taylor of the Chargers, Joe Flacco of the Jets, and Jameis Winston of the Saints. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is also scheduled to be a free agent, but Dallas is reportedly expected to place the franchise tag on him if they can’t agree to an extension.
Of course, free agency isn’t the only way to acquire a quarterback. The Patriots can draft one, too, which some draft experts expect them to do in April’s draft.
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