We have entered a world of uncertainty.
2020 has, for the lack of a better word, been weird. And we’re not even talking about the Coronavirus.
Whenever the 2020 NFL season starts, not only will we have to get used to the pictures of Tom Brady wearing a Tampa Bay Buccaneers jersey, but the New England Patriots will have a new quarterback under centre.
Bill Belichick is a master at devising schemes to get the best out of the options he has, but even he will want clarity at the QB position.
We’ve picked out the favourites to fill Tom’s considerable shoes, and who would be the best fit?
In two years as a starter at Auburn, the Kentucky born passer threw for 36 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He then declined his final year in the SEC to go in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Last season he attempted just four passes, completed two, picked up 14 yards and was picked off once. Hardly a stunning job interview.
Pats Offensive Coordinator, Josh McDaniels, has spoken highly of Stidham, as has young wide receiver Jacobi Myers, with the behind the scenes belief being he has the tools to be a franchise QB.
It’s a gamble. But so was Tom Brady.
Perhaps the only redeeming quality which makes his odds so low is the fact Hoyer is the most experienced of three quarterbacks currently on the Patriots roster.
After signing a one-year deal, this is his third stint at Foxborough. He knows the offence extremely well, filling in for Brady during practices, plus he’s played 38 NFL games as a starter.
If the Pats don’t sign or trade for someone else, Hoyer is a great choice to be the steady, but unspectacular, hand who leads them through the opening game.
His health is obviously a concern – missing games over the last two campaigns due to shoulder injuries – but what better way for Belichick to replace Tom Brady than by bringing in a former MVP who would completely change the look of the Patriots offence.
Cam and Tom are on completely different ends of the quarterback spectrum.
His weapons would be limited, but if his shoulder isn’t 100%, then throwing short to Julian Edelman or James White would be the ideal way of helping the dual threat QB.
Add in his threat along the ground and he brings the sort of versatility McDaniels has been begging for since he drafted Tim Tebow to the Broncos in 2010.
Joe Burrow is all set to be drafted No.1 by the Bengals this summer, leaving Dalton waiting to see what the franchise decides to do at back-up.
There is still a potential deal on the table for him to stay, but if the Pats could put together a trade to take him to New England, the Red Rifle could be a very capable replacement for Brady.
Despite being benched, he still threw for over 3,400 yards and 16 touchdowns last year. He’d provide accuracy and experience at the position, but it seems he is falling down the Pats list of replacements.
The 30/30 club is one which features only one QB, Jameis Winston. Throwing as many interceptions as touchdowns is as impressive as it is worrying, but can you imagine the redemption story if Belichick could work his magic one last time.
One of the greatest coaches in NFL history, he developed Brady for the very last draft pick into the GOAT, imagine what he could potentially do for a gun-slinger who has more potential than anyone has ever been able to harness.
It would be a massive gamble, but Winston has the arm and the eye for the spectacular. Yes he makes mistakes, but with Bill and McDaniels guiding him, it’s the kind of crazy move which just might work.
Prediction: Although Newton would be a fantastic story and a wonderful option to watch. Hoyer seems like the smart bet, especially if the Pats are looking to Stidham in the long-term. The 34-year-old knows the offence, knows the players and most importantly, Belichick knows him.
*odds correct at time of publication