Reported Patriots' Desire for Reconnecting with Seasoned Quarterback is 'Authentic', Says Insider

Reported Patriots’ Desire for Reconnecting with Seasoned Quarterback is ‘Authentic’, Says Insider

It would not be on par with signing the likes of Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield, a player who’s been a target as the next Patriots quarterback. But assuming Mayfield comes off the board and re-signs with Tampa Bay—not a done deal, but still the most likely outcome—the backup plan for adding a veteran quarterback to the mix appears to be one that has been floating around for weeks now: former Patriots quarterback Jacoby Brissett.

Jerod Mayo could welcome Jacoby Brissett as the the "bridge" Patriots quarterback.

Boston Globe NFL beat writer Ben Volin reported this week on Twitter/X that Brissett, who started his career in New England in 2016, could very well be the “bridge” quarterback the team needs as it gets its offense recalibrated after former coach Bill Belichick left the offensive side of the roster in shambles.

The Patriots could have an advantage in signing him because he played under offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt in Cleveland, who joined coach Jerod Mayo’s staff last month.

Wrote Volin: “Not Franchise Tag related, but the Patriots’ interest in Jacoby Brissett is real. They’ll have competition for him, but OC Alex Van Pelt loved coaching Brissett in Cleveland in 2022 and the Patriots view him as a great locker room guy who is all about football.”

Not Franchise Tag related, but the Patriots’ interest in Jacoby Brissett is real. They’ll have competition for him, but OC Alex Van Pelt loved coaching Brissett in Cleveland in 2022 and the Patriots view him as a great locker room guy who is all about football

Patriots Quarterback Plan: Add ‘Bridge,’ Plus Rookie

While adding Brissett might not be an electrifying move by the Pats, he is a valued commodity around the league for his veteran experience and ability to start even in difficult circumstances. The idea of signing Brissett, though, almost certainly means the Patriots will use a high draft pick to find a future quarterback to develop.

That could mean using the No. 3 pick on Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye. That could also mean trading down, collecting more picks and taking a second-tier signal-caller like J.J. McCarthy, Michael Penix or Bo Nix. The Patriots need help at every position on the roster offensively, so trading down makes some sense.

Having Brissett start games for the Patriots would not be ideal, of course. But it’s a relatively low-cost move that gives New England flexibility elsewhere.

In eight NFL seasons, Brissett has started only 48 games, including two during an injury-riddled 2016 season with the Patriots. Brissett helped win one game coming on in relief of Jimmy Garoppolo, then went 1-1 in his two starts for the Pats that year. Since then, he has had two seasons, in Indianapolis, in which he came in as the starter, and one (in Cleveland in 2022) in which he started the bulk of the games because of injury.

Focus on Being Competitive Now?

The Patriots have more than $100 million in cap space, but they have a depleted roster. They need a No. 1 receiver, help at the tight end spot and they must rebuild the offensive line. They’ve shown interest in oft-injured Cowboys veteran Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith, an indication that they do want to win in the short term.

PFF projects Brissett to warrant a contract worth $6.5 million for one year, after he had a cap hit of $8.5 million in Washington last season. That’s easily done for the Patriots.

As for what kind of player he would be now, eight years on since the start of his tenure, PFF wrote of Brissett: “Brissett should’ve had a nice runway to start a few games to close out the 2023 season, stepping up in Week 15 and cooking to the tune of 8 or 10, 124 yards and two touchdowns.

“Unfortunately, the journeyman vet was injured in Week 16 and missed the rest of the year. Brissett is a solid pocket passer who can stand in and take a hit, showed improved pocket manipulation over his time in Cleveland, and is a QB sneak savant.”

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