Russell Wilson’s comparisons to Tom Brady off base

Over the course of the past week there have been stories about Russell Wilson’s potential trade partners, Ben Roethlisberger’s meeting with Steelers brass and yet another quasi-ultimatum from Deshaun Watson’s camp to the Houston Texans.

And that represented a quiet week on the quarterback carousel front in the National Football League.

Indeed with Watson and Wilson still in various states of limbo with their current teams, the activity surrounding the game’s most important position figures to slow down a bit as teams try to assess their chances of landing one of the big fish that may or may not be available. Until things settle in Houston and Seattle, it may be tougher to gauge how things are going to play out.

For the Patriots none of that should matter. It’s understandable to believe that New England could benefit through a ripple-down effect of sorts should Watson or Wilson get dealt. Depending on where one might land, another possible Patriots passer may become available and thus enter into the discussion.

But for the Patriots there really aren’t any realistic options that would greatly change their prospects for 2021. Names like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Marcus Mariota, Mitchell Trubisky, Teddy Bridgewater or Cam Newton aren’t going to significantly alter the team’s expectations or chances to contend given the current state of the roster.

Aside from Jimmy Garoppolo, whose familiarity with Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels and the system in general might be enough to squeak the team into the playoffs, none of these options does much to move the needle. Obviously the draft doesn’t promise to find the 2021 starter either with the Patriots sitting 15th in the first round.

Rather than exhaust resources in an effort to perhaps crack the .500 mark, the wisest move might be to just stick with Jarrett Stidham and let the season play out.

Stidham will be entering his third season but has yet to get a true chance to lead the offense. When he has played things have not gone well, especially in the ball security department that has seen him throw four interceptions in only 48 career attempts, and a fifth was wiped out due to penalty. Things have not looked smooth with Stidham under center to be sure.

But given the lack of a proven option, not to mention offensive weapons, spending any resources on a retread quarterback rather than allowing Stidham a chance doesn’t seem wise. After all, he was the subject of countless testimonials last offseason before Newton’s arrival put him on the backburner. He seemed destined to start before that late move, so why not give a shot now?

To be clear I have no real expectations of finding a diamond in the rough with Stidham. Nothing about his performances to this point have warranted comparisons to any of the mid-to-late-round starters in the league. More likely, Stidham would suffer the ups and downs most inexperienced quarterbacks fight through and the team would fall short of the playoffs.

But at least at that point Belichick would know what Stidham is as the youngster enters the 2022 offseason. If he can play, he gained some experience and would be further along in his development entering the final year of his rookie deal. If he shows little to no promise, you continue looking toward the future.

Which brings us to Part II of the 2021 plan: draft a developmental quarterback. If Belichick can’t grab one at 15, then a Day 2 option such as Kyle Trask, Kellen Mond or perhaps Jamie Newman might make sense. None of those options will help in 2021, but Stidham would buy some time for a rookie to develop.

Sticking with Stidham would allow Belichick to maintain all of his resources – picks, money and cap space – as he tries to piece back together a roster lacking in several areas. And either way, the 2021 season doesn’t figure to end with a Super Bowl trip so nothing is really lost by removing themselves from the quarterback carousel that won’t be stopping anytime soon.

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