Patriots

Sports Q: Who will be the Patriots’ starting quarterback in the season opener?

Fans are wondering whether Cam Newton will take the field for the Patriots in September, or if Bill Belichick has another roster move up his sleeve. AP Photo/Charles Krupa

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The rest of the roster has taken shape with Bill Belichick’s spending spree. But do you think Cam Newton will definitely be the quarterback, or someone else is coming in? Who do you think the starter will be for the opener? – Eric S.

The lingering question is the most important one, right? I’ve thought all along reuniting with Jimmy Garoppolo was their ultimate plan, but if I had to bet today, I’d say it’s … Cam.

That is not a confident bet, however. I doubt he has any assurances that he’ll be the starter, and his salary is that of a mid-level backup.

So what are the other potential options and alternatives?

  • It wouldn’t shock me if the Patriots pursued Marcus Mariota if he refuses the pay cut from the Raiders and opts for free agency. I’m not sure he’d be a major upgrade over Newton, but I suspect they do like him.
  • The Niners would have saved major money by letting Garoppolo go before the new league year began Wednesday. That they opted not to do so – and that they’re reportedly talking with Joe (Never Elite) Flacco about signing on as a backup suggests that GM John Lynch was telling the truth a few weeks back when he said Garoppolo would remain their quarterback.
  • The Deshaun Watson situation is suddenly very troubling and complicated, and if you consider what the Seahawks reportedly turned down from the Bears for Russell Wilson (three firsts, a third, and two players of their choice off the current roster), there’s no way the Patriots have the assets to acquire Watson anyway. Maybe if the Niners got him the door would be opened to acquiring Garoppolo.
  • I’m becoming increasingly convinced that the Patriots will move up in the first round if a quarterback they like is within their range. But considering that three and maybe all four of Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Zack Wilson, and Trey Lance are projected to go in the top five or six picks, it’s hard to believe a reasonable trade will be there for the making. I guess we’ll find out what they really think of Alabama’s Mac Jones. Or Belichick will probably just stay at 15 and take a guard.

But if I had to bet today, I’d say Newton is the starter, with a rookie quarterback – either via a trade in the first round or taken with a choice in the second or third rounds – as the heir apparent. But honestly, I really don’t know what to expect right now, and that’s fine. The unexpected becoming reality has been the best part of this offseason so far.

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What does everyone else think? Who will be the Patriots’ starting quarterback in the season opener? I’ll hear you in the comments.

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