- The New England Patriots are in search for a starting quarterback after a lackluster 7-9 season
- Marcus Mariota is the slight favorite to land the gig over incumbent Cam Newton and Jimmy Garoppolo
- Who are some other quarterbacks that could be their signal-caller and is there value in betting on them?
Life without Tom Brady was nothing short of a major disappointment for the Patriots as they saw their former signal-caller earn his seventh Lombardi trophy in Tampa Bay while New England missed the postseason altogether. The Pats attempted to catch lightning in a bottle with Cam Newton, but after a subpar campaign, the club could be looking in another direction.
Throughout last off-season, it appeared there could’ve been a fit with former Bengal Andy Dalton, but instead he ended up going to Dallas to back up Dak Prescott. While bringing in Dalton is still a distinct possibility given the strong links between the two parties last year, he’s now listed as the sixth most likely QB under center.
While many New England fans would be salivating over the prospect of a disgruntled Deshaun Watson coming to town via the Texans, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of chatter pointing towards that happening. Enter Marcus Mariota, the former #2 pick from the 2015 draft as the most likely pivot at the helm in 2021.
Odds to Be Patriots’ Starting QB Week 1 of 2021 NFL Season
Odds as of Feb. 24th
Newton and Stidham Underwhelmed
The Patriots could opt to stick with the devil they know in Cam Newton, though he hardly inspired much confidence this season, throwing for just eight touchdowns and was intercepted ten times. He made up for it on the ground, racking up 12 touchdowns, but his inability to chuck the ball down the field was his downfall.
In nine of his 15 games, he didn’t throw a single TD pass and endured a stretch of four straight games without one. Despite having a suspect group of targets to throw to, that simply is not good enough in today’s NFL.
Cam Newton on Bill Belichick: “I think Bill Belichick is the most misunderstood person in all of sports. He dope as s**t. He is a cool dude.”
(via "I Am Athlete" podcast)pic.twitter.com/ahAcsuRJ3V
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) February 22, 2021
When the regular season ended in January 2019 fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham was the heavy -220 favorite to land the gig in 2021, but those odds have dipped to +600 because he simply hasn’t shown enough in his two seasons. He’s played in parts of eight games but has never started. In Week 4, instead of seeing what they had in the youngster, they opted for aging veteran Brian Hoyer instead, which is a big indictment on the former Auburn pivot.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) February 23, 2021
He has a pedestrian two TD’s and four INT’s in limited action to this point in his career and has gone 24-for-48 passing. If there was something dynamic about Stidham, we likely would’ve known about it by now so the likelihood of him winning the starting job is fairly low.
Why Marcus Mariota is Favorite to Land Job
With one year left on his deal, former #2 overall pick Marcus Mariota could appeal to the Patriots since his $10.7 million dollar contract wouldn’t prohibit them from grooming a long-term solution. Last season, he entered a Thursday Night game against the Chargers and showed promise, going 17-for-28, with a passing TD, one INT, and also ran for 88 yards plus a score.
From NFL Now: #Raiders QB Marcus Mariota has generated a lot of interest from teams, but the max value of his contract has been an issue for teams. Trade talk has slowed considerably. Could he be eventually released? pic.twitter.com/pPlwOSS3Yk
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 24, 2021
At his current +315 price, there isn’t a ton of value for a quarterback that doesn’t have significant ties to the coaching staff. He may still need to be acquired via trade, something that AFC rival Las Vegas may be wary of.
Sometimes it’s better the devil you know, or at least used to know very well. Jimmy Garoppolo is still dangling in San Fran with the 49ers seemingly wanting to move on from him. The Patriots know what he’s capable of after he spent three seasons there. A reunion between Belichick and co. with Garoppolo could be just what the doctor ordered.
Pick: Jimmy Garoppolo (+525)