It’s still possible that Cam Newton could come back to New England for next season, but it’s clear that they want an experienced head on the roster even if they do still have Stidham and take a rookie in the draft.
There’s no one in free agency that appears to be worth throwing a lot of money at (unless Dak Prescott somehow becomes available) so their options are limited, while it would make sense to actually get some weapons in the passing game for the new guy to throw to.
We did see flashes of Newton in the running game last year and it does make sense to have a dual-threat QB to give you more options if they aren’t an elite pocket-passer, so ESPN have indicated that former number 2 overall pick Marcus Mariota is now an option.
It’s suggested that the Raiders are set to be over the cap and releasing Mariota makes a ton of sense for them due to his cap hit of $11m+, so there are some hopes that he could have a Tannehill-like resurgence with a new team.
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That does appear to be wishful thinking but nobody expected much of Tannehill when he went to the Titans, so it’s definitely worth exploring if they genuinely see something in him that they like.
The other options appear to be the return of Cam, taking a punt on someone like Carson Wentz or even finding a way to bring Jimmy G back to finally take his place as Tom Brady’s successor – all of them have the potential to be great or a disaster so it should at least be interesting.
It’s likely that the Pats go with one veteran, Stidham and then someone from the draft, but it remains to be seen how much money then put into that veteran and how high they go in the draft to take someone.