NFL Column: The Patriots need a quarterback

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In this Sept. 24, 2017, file photo, New England Patriots wide receiver Brandin Cooks runs toward the goal line for a touchdown after catching a pass from Tom Brady during the second half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots have traded Cooks to the Rams for Los Angeles’ first-round draft pick, 23rd overall. In the deal Tuesday, April 3, 2018, New England also sends a fourth-round choice to the Rams, who give the Patriots a sixth-rounder. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Tom Brady is 40 years old.

Tom Brady also just led New England to yet another Super Bowl appearance while leading the league in passing yards and winning his third MVP award.

But again, Tom Brady is 40 years old.

Whether Patriots fans want to admit it or not, Brady won’t be around forever. Look, I love the TB12 Method as much as the next guy and as much as I would love to believe Brady could play until he’s 45, it’s not exactly likely.

Players often compare the physical toll of a playing in an NFL game to getting in a car crash once a week. How many 40-something-year-olds can keep taking those kinds of hits? I don’t care what sort of insane diet Brady puts himself on, the clock is close to striking midnight.

What happens if New York’s Leonard Williams beats a tackle and takes out Brady’s leg? Who do the Patriots turn to? Brian Hoyer? I certainly hope not. New England has two first round picks, and it’s time to find their next quarterback.

Drafting a quarterback is terrifying. Hoping some kid in his early twenties can become a franchise player that’ll lead your team for the next 10-15 years is just like hoping you’ll win the lottery—except, people win the lottery way more than NFL teams find good quarterbacks.

The Patriots traded away wide receiver Brandin Cooks a few weeks ago and received a first round pick, now owning the 23rd and 31st picks of the first round. The New England fan in me hopes the Patriots are putting together a package and are going to continue to trade up and find a quarterback.

Now obviously, they won’t get Josh Allen, or Josh Rosen or maybe even Baker Mayfield or Sam Darnold. But even if Belichick doesn’t package the picks, I would personally love to spend either of those first-rounders on Lamar Jackson or Mason Rudolph.

Yes, I understand the Patriots have other—and perhaps more pressing—needs to fill. Don’t tell Belichick about team needs though, he won’t care.

“The whole draft need thing is . . . I don’t really understand that,” Belichick said during a recent press conference. “You put a card up on the board. That doesn’t mean the guy is a good player. I think it’s important to acquire good players wherever they are. If you take a player at a position that you might so called ‘need’ but he’s not good enough to fill that need, then it’s a wasted pick.”

So yes, the Patriots need a quarterback. But no, it doesn’t seem like Belichick necessarily cares at the moment. Tom Brady did call Lamar Jackson a “beast” the other day, though, so maybe he knows something we don’t.


Connor Donahue is the digital editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at connor.f.donahue@uconn.edu. He tweets at @conn_donahue.

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