It’s another offseason and the New England Patriots have no answer at the quarterback position. Bill Belichick will spend the offseason searching for a signal-caller after a rough season with quarterback Cam Newton in 2020.
It isn’t that the Patriots are definitely done with Newton. But the fact that he’s not under contract in 2021 speaks to New England exploring other options. And there’s one option that former Patriots linebacker and current NFL analyst Tedy Bruschi likes the most.
“Any other quarterback, why do you want to follow Tom Brady?” Bruschi asked on WEEI sports radio during an appearance this week. “You’re always going to be compared to the successes and the past, and that is going to make it a tough job. That’s going to make it a job to where guys will come in, ‘I can’t live up to that.’ I think the pressure is higher than ever in New England in terms of who the next quarterback is going to be.
“You better have some guts to come in here,” added Bruschi. “I’ll tell you that right now because from Day 1 it is going to be like, ‘OK, we’re ready for a Super Bowl championship.’ And [that quarterback] will have to deliver because that’s what [fans] are used to here. I think (Jimmy Garoppolo) Garoppolo knows that. I think Garoppolo could even say, ‘You know what, I can do it. I know how it’s done.’ To me, maybe that is the best option because of the amount of pressure the new guy is going to have. It’s going to be a hard, hard task.”
Garoppolo is currently under contract with the San Francisco 49ers, who acquired him in a trade with New England. However, Garoppolo’s deal has an easy out after this season, which makes him a viable trade or cut candidate.
Newton discussed the burdens of following Brady. The issues Newton recognized the most were in dealing with the playbook, which Belichick, Brady and the Patriots offensive coordinator built through the years. It was comprehensive — and built for Brady. But then Newton was dealing with the expectations in New England, which were established during the Brady era when he won six Super Bowls.
“We are depending on a lot of people who are not used to the pressures of being a New England Patriots player,” Newton said. “And honestly, if I am being honest and candid, I am one of those players.”
You know who does? Jimmy Garoppolo, who played for the Patriots for two and a half years and went 2-0 as a starter. The one concern with him is injuries. He suffered an injury during his second Patriots start and couldn’t finish the game. And he has dealt with a handful of problems during his 49ers tenure, too.
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