Success of the Patriots relies on offseason moves


Nicholas Poulin

A foggy Gillette Stadium before kick off in the 2019 Wild Card round


For the first time since 2008, the Patriots will be missing the playoffs. Their lackluster 7-9 season combined with dismal quarterback play by Cam Newton leaves many questions to be answered this offseason. Here are some realistic options for the Patriots this offseason as they pursue their 7th Super Bowl title. 

Do Not Re-sign Cam Newton

As expected, the Patriots are planning on mutually parting ways with Cam Newton after a subpar season. A primetime blowout loss against the division champion Buffalo Bills summed up his season, Newton threw for a dismal 34 yards and put up a 57.9 passer rating. Although Newton was the best option for the Patriots this season, there are much more viable options at QB for next season as in all likelihood, Newton will leave the Patriots and hopefully, not re-sign. 

Draft a Quarterback

The 2021 NFL draft holds many talented young quarterbacks fresh off of Heisman caliber seasons. With the 15th pick, the Patriots will most likely not draft one of the top QB prospects such as Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, Ohio State’s Justin Fields, or BYU’s Zach Wilson. This does not mean they won’t draft a QB later in the draft, afterall, Tom Brady was selected in the 6th round. The Patriots could draft a quarterback in the 2nd or 3rd round and develop them while picking up a veteran QB in free agency for a one or two year deal

Free Agency

Many big name quarterbacks are set to become free agents in 2021 but, some may re-sign with their existing teams or retire. So here are the best options for the Patriots.

Jimmy Garoppolo- If the San Francisco 49ers decline Jimmy Garoppolo’s final 2 years on his contract and let him loose, the Patriots are a great landing spot for the 29 year old QB. In 2019, he led the 49ers to a Super Bowl to later choke a lead to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, his 2020 season was cut short due to injuries. Bill Belichick holds Garoppolo in high regard and reportedly wanted to keep him over Brady in years past, if let go by the Niners, New England is a great spot.

Sam Darnold- With the second overall pick in the draft, the New York Jets will most likely draft a quarterback in hopes to slowly start a rebuild from an embarrassing 2-14 season. Although Darnold struggled with the Jets, he was surrounded by one of the worst offenses in the league, and the last ranked defense didn’t help either. With some development under the best coach in NFL history, Sam Darnold can lead the Patriots back into the playoffs.

Pick up another wide receiver

With 34 year old Julian Edelman being the best wide receiver on the team, the Patriots ranked 30th overall in receiving, something unheard of during the Tom Brady era. In 2021, the wide receiver free agency market is set to be the most talent saturated in years. With big names such as Juju Smith Schuster, Corey Davis, T.Y Hilton, Will Fuller, and many more talented wide outs set to hit free agency, the Patriots need to make a move in order to have a shot at the playoffs next season.

Find a Tight End

With only one tight end catching a touchdown this season, the Patriots are in desperate need of a go-to big man. With many of the big name tight ends in the league bound by major contracts, the free agent market isn’t ideal, maybe draft a tight end instead.

Positive takeaways from this season

With a struggling quarterback, Patriots running backs were one of the few highlights of the season. The Pats rushed for a total of 2,300 yards, 4th overall in the league. Damien Harris rushed for 691 yards and two touchdowns, a great young running back that had a career year and will get the starting job next year. 

Another positive is the defense. Because of COVID-19 concerns 8 players opted out and hopefully will return next season, 2 being key defensive players Dont’a Hightower and Patrick Chung. Patriots cornerback J.C Jackson had 9 interceptions, second behind Miami’s Xavien Howard. If the Patriots can make some moves in the offseason, and retain a dominant defense, they might have a shot to make the playoffs.