For about two decades, it was easy to know who was starting at quarterback for the New England Patriots: Tom Brady. But last season, Brady left the Patriots, went to Tampa Bay and won a Super Bowl.
Heading into the 2021 NFL Season, it’s uncertain who the Patriots will start at quarterback. They’ve been rumored as a possible landing spot for superstar quarterbacks like Deshaun Watson and Aaron Rodgers, but nothing is guaranteed.
However, BetOnline has released odds for who the Patriots may start in Week 1.
Who will be the Patriots Week 1 Starting Quarterback?
Odds via BetOnline as of Thursday, February 25
- Marcus Mariota +300
- Cam Newton +500
- Jimmy Garoppolo +500
- Ryan Fitzpatrick +500
- Jarrett Stidham +600
- Andy Dalton +700
- Mac Jones +700
- Trey Lance +900
- Derek Carr +1200
Mariota the Favorite to Start
Marcus Mariota started just one NFL game in 2020, but it was enough to generate some buzz. In a 30-27 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, Mariota threw for 226 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also added 88 yards on the ground with a rushing touchdown. It’ll be interesting to see if Mariota can perform that way on a nightly basis.
Mariota proved that he was a middle-of-the-pack starter with the Tennessee Titans, but can Bill Belichick turn him into a consistent starter? It remains to be seen, but if anyone can do it, it’s him.
Patriots Could Bring Back Cam Newton
Could the Patriots bring back Cam Newton? In 15 games with New England, Newton had career-lows in passing yards (2,613) and touchdowns (eight) where he’s played a majority of the season. He did still rush for 592 yards and 12 touchdowns, though, so his ground game is still there.
However, passing numbers like that aren’t go enough to go far in the league, even with the Patriots’ coaching staff. The only way that Newton will be back is if Belichick is confident he can win with him.
Could Garoppolo Return to the Patriots?
Jimmy Garoppolo was supposed to be Brady’s heir in New England, but he never got that opportunity as Brady refused to retire. Instead, Garoppolo ended up in San Francisco where he led the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance. Now, with the 49ers looking at other quarterback options like Rodgers, could Garoppolo head back to the Patriots?
Garoppolo has two years left on his contract, so the 49ers would either need to trade or cut him if they find a new starting quarterback elsewhere. Garoppolo only started in six games in 2020 due to injuries. In those games, he threw for 1,096 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions.
Stidham is an Affordable Option
Jarrett Stidham has been on the Patriots’ roster since being drafted in 2019, but he’s yet to start a game. He’s entered eight games as the backup quarterback, completed 24-of-48 passes and throwing for 256 yards, two touchdowns, and four interceptions. This is too small of a sample size to come to any conclusions and the Patriots may want to see what Stidham’s got cross 16 games.
Stidham would also be a cheap option for an NFL quarterback as he’s under contract for the next two seasons for just over $1 million.
Patriots Could with Draft Option
Maybe the Patriots don’t want to gamble on a decent NFL quarterback. Maybe they’d rather start from scratch and let Belichick mentor them from the begging. The 2021 NFL Draft would let the Patriots do that.
Barring any movement, the Patriots will draft at the No. 15 spot. The first round is expected to have plenty of quarterback options, so they could always end up with guys like Mac Jones and Trey Lance. Or maybe they’ll trade up and try to go for someone like Justin Fields or Zach Wilson.