Patriots

Morning sports update: Rob Ninkovich thinks the Patriots should ‘move up’ to draft a quarterback

"If they do not address the quarterback issue, they're going to have another tough year."

Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick during the 2020 season. Elise Amendola/AP Photo

The sports world reacted to the verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted on Tuesday of murder and manslaughter for the killing of George Floyd.

New England teams, including the Celtics and Patriots, released statements in response to the verdict.

In international news, the proposed Super League (originally composed of 12 of Europe’s biggest soccer clubs) collapsed mere days after it was first announced amid strong opposition from fans, players, and other figures in the game.

In local sports news from Tuesday, the Red Sox defeated the Blue Jays 4-2, and the Bruins won against the Sabres, 2-0.

Rob Ninkovich on the Patriots’ draft strategy: With the NFL draft set to get underway on April 29, speculation continues as to what the Patriots will do. Holding the 15th overall pick, New England may need to trade up if the goal is to pick one of the quarterbacks projected to go in the first round.

Former Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich, now an ESPN analyst, shared his thoughts during a “Get Up!” segment on Wednesday morning when asked what he thinks Bill Belichick should do.

“I think he should move up,” Ninkovich said of New England’s draft strategy. “I think they should go up in the draft, go get a quarterback.”

While the Patriots re-signed 2020 starter Cam Newton earlier in the offseason, the contract is for one year. And in Ninkovich’s view, the 31-year-old Newton isn’t the long-term answer in attempting to replace Tom Brady.

“They need to get a quarterback,” Ninkovich added. “If they do not address the quarterback issue, they’re going to have another tough year. They’re going to be average if they go with Cam Newton.

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“I expect them to move up. It’s been an unprecedented, weird offseason for [Belichick] anyway. We’ve never seen the Patriots go out and spend the money that they have in free agency. And if they don’t get a quarterback, they’re not answering any of the questions of their future at that position.”

Trivia: Rob Ninkovich was drafted by the Saints in 2006 with the 135th overall pick (the second pick in the fifth round). What six-time Bills Pro Bowler was drafted one pick ahead of that?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: A defensive lineman, he retired following the 2018 season.

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On this day: In 2002, the Patriots traded quarterback Drew Bledsoe to the Bills.

Drew Bledsoe Boston Globe 2002 trade BillsDaily highlight: Brewers outfielder Billy McKinney made a tremendous catch to prevent multiple runs from scoring in a 6-0 Milwaukee win over the Padres on Tuesday.

Trivia answer: Kyle Williams

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