Patriots Rumors: NE Has a Plan to Replace Tom Brady After QB's Announcement

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IMarch 17, 2020

FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13:  Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots reacts as Tom Brady #12 looks on before the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans  at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The New England Patriots are renowned for their strategic approach—which has resulted in six Super Bowl titles since the start of this century—and that mindset won't change with Tom Brady leaving.

"The Patriots have a plan," ESPN's Dianna Russini reported Tuesday, regarding how the organization will replace the 42-year-old future Hall of Fame quarterback.

Brady announced his decision to leave the Patriots, with whom he has played his entire 20-year NFL career, Tuesday morning:

Tom Brady @TomBrady


Tom Brady @TomBrady

LOVE YOU PATS NATION https://t.co/lxSQZmnjPL

New England has Jarrett Stidham, drafted in the fourth round last year, and Cody Kessler under contract at quarterback.

Stidham was at the Patriots' facility Tuesday morning and commented on his mentor's Instagram post:

Michele Steele @ESPNMichele

In Foxboro, @MikeReiss notes that he saw Jarrett Stidham driving into the Patriots' facility today within the last hour. On the same day Brady says goodbye, Stidham says hello. #NextManUp

Logan Mullen @ByLoganMullen

A few Patriots, including Jarrett Stidham, have responded to Tom Brady’s announcement he’s leaving. https://t.co/lUIjr5jq7w

The 23-year-old saw limited action as a rookie. The Auburn product recorded just 14 yards passing, zero touchdowns and one interception on four attempts.

The available free-agent quarterbacks are limited, especially after NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Teddy Bridgewater agreed to a deal with the Carolina Panthers, and Bleacher Report's Matt Miller described Philip Rivers' deal with the Indianapolis Colts as "all but done."

However, Russini noted the Patriots were "never interested" in Bridgewater.

An intriguing option is 2011 top overall pick Cam Newton, who was given permission by the Panthers on Tuesday morning to seek a trade. Other trade targets could be Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton or Jacksonville Jaguars signal-caller Nick Foles, who was named Super Bowl LII MVP for leading the Philadelphia Eagles to a 41-33 win over New England.

Should the Pats address quarterback in next month's draft, they own the No. 23 overall pick.

Brady leaves Foxborough having set countless individual records:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Over the last 20 years in New England, a 6th-round pick became one of the most dominant athletes ever. ▫️ 6x Super Bowl champ ▫️ 4x Super Bowl MVP ▫️ 9x conference champ ▫️ 3x NFL MVP ▫️ 14x Pro Bowler ▫️ 17 division titles ▫️ 58 game-winning drives End of an era. @brgridiron https://t.co/XPiePUfqEv

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

20 years of greatness. The @Patriots recapped Tom Brady’s career after he announced he’s leaving the team 💍💍💍💍💍💍 https://t.co/R8V4Gkcgrw

NBC Sports Boston's Tom E. Curran reported there was never "a tangible effort" or "negotiation" by New England to retain Brady.