The Patriots decided to pick up former NFL MVP Cam Newton.
Newton was signed to a one-year, league-minimum contract with the chance to be the team’s starter.
Now, through 11 games, they sit as the 10th seed in the AFC at 5-6.
Newton’s play over this season hasn’t been the best, characterized by inconsistency.
Belichick asked about Cam Newton's sub-par performance
"he threw for 350 last week"
Still backing his guy
— Yianni Kourakis (@YianniKourakis) November 29, 2020
He also has struggled with finding the endzone, only having four TDs and nine interceptions.
The Patriots have yet to sign him to an extension for next season, so it may set the team up to look for another QB.
Here are three options the team should look at in 2021 if they move on from Newton:
1. Jimmy Garoppolo
A former Patriots QB, Garoppolo signed a then record 5-year, $137.5 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers in 2018.
Over this time, he has helped lead the 49ers to a 2019-20 Super Bowl appearance and threw for nearly 4,000 yards that season.
However, the price of his contract and lack of stellar performance has led some to question if the team will stick with him moving forward.
The team could choose to save $18.5 million this offseason by cutting the QB and opting for a cheaper QB.
This would allow the 29-year-old to enter free agency where the Patriots would likely show interest.
Already having experience in the Patriots’ system, Garoppolo would likely be a natural fit with the team again.
After all, it was seen early in his career that Garoppolo would be the natural heir to Brady’s throne.
Now, with the potential of this budget saving move from the 49ers, the prophecy could be fulfilled.
Garoppolo has a style of play that fits into the traditional Patriots style of offense, and it would not be surprising to see them make a push for the QB if he is available.
2. Mitchell Trubisky
Trubisky has had a very up-and-down career.
The QB has shown glimpses of excellence, but also has had some major lows.
He is now in a position where he has to prove something to the Bears if he hopes to stay in Chicago.
Matt Nagy says Mitchell Trubisky will start again Sunday vs. the Lions.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 2, 2020
After this season, he has a club option in his contract.
It would be reasonable to expect that the Bears would let him walk.
After all, letting Trubisky walk may prove to be the best thing for the young QB.
A change in environment for him could give a new opportunity to thrive, and the Patriots would be the one of the better locations for this.
Under coach Bill Belichick, Trubisky may be able to thrive and find more success under a different system.
He would also likely be a cheaper option.
3. Jacoby Brissett
Brissett, the current Colts backup, was drafted by the Patriots in 2016 where he played in three games for the team.
He was then traded to Indianapolis, where he had two seasons of being a starter.
Filling in for an injured Andrew Luck in 2017, he proved to be a serviceable backup with over 3,000 passing yards.
He stepped back into the starting role in 2019, where he performed well again.
Leading the Colts to a 7-8 record in the games he played, he threw for 2,942 yards and 18 TDs, with only 6 INTs.
This season, however, he returned to the bench with the team’s signing of Philip Rivers.
Jacoby punches it through for six! 👊
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) November 29, 2020
Assuming the Colts will go with Rivers for next season, Brissett could be an interesting pickup for the Patriots.
He already has familiarity with Belichick, the system and the organization.
This could make him a very interesting option to step into the QB role in New England.