Patriots Rumors: 'Highly, Highly Unlikely' NE Adds Veteran QB After Brady Exit

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIMarch 25, 2020

New England Patriots quarterback Jarrett Stidham warms up before an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

The New England Patriots are "highly, highly unlikely" to sign or trade for a veteran quarterback, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss during an NFL Live appearance on Wednesday.

Reiss cited "finances" as the primary reason why:

Mike Reiss @MikeReiss

On Wednesday's NFL Live, answering the question: "What is the likelihood of another veteran QB joining the Patriots?" https://t.co/WvNO5fQQen

The Patriots parted ways with Tom Brady last week, as the 42-year-old future Hall of Fame quarterback opted to finish his playing career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after an unparalleled 20 years in New England:

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

The latest from Reiss aligns with other reports filtering out of New England over the last week:

Michael Giardi @MikeGiardi

Asked high ranking #Patriots official if they had interest in Jameis Winston. Seems unlikely at this juncture. @nflnetwork

Jeff Howe @jeffphowe

Regarding Cam Newton, it doesn’t appear the Patriots have any immediate interest in adding the QB, per source.

MarkMaske @MarkMaske

What about the Patriots and Cam Newton? They have a very tight cap situation and are probably done at QB after adding Brian Hoyer to go with Jarrett Stidham, source said earlier, but left open possibility that could change if the right QB becomes available for the right price.

The Patriots agreed to a one-year contract with 34-year-old Brian Hoyer on Sunday after the Indianapolis Colts released him on Saturday:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Compensation update to QB Brian Hoyer reaching agreement with Patriots on a one-year deal, as @globejimmcbride reported. Colts paying him $2 million this year, Pats paying him $1.05 million, per source. Due to offset, Hoyer will make $2 million in guarantees from Pats and Colts.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

Agent Joe Linta tells me: “It someone offered him $5M or $6M to be a backup, Brian still would’ve wanted to be back in New England. They gave him a chance to compete for the starting job, and that’s all he asked for.” https://t.co/r0AE4MctMR

Hoyer was originally signed by New England as an undrafted free agent in 2009. He backed up Brady through 2011 and returned again in November 2017. He was released by the Pats in August 2019, which led to him backing up Jacoby Brissett last season in Indy.

The assumption is that Hoyer will compete with 2019 fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham for the Pats' starting job. The 23-year-old was backed by team captain Devin McCourty on his Double Coverage podcast from Sunday night (h/t Reiss):

"To me, there were weeks where he was just on-point. And those were some of our best weeks as a defense, mainly because Stiddy ate us up in practice leading up to the game, and I think put more pressure on us. So I really admire just how hard he works, and then I've got to know him off the field as well. He's a really good guy. Young guy, but very mature. He's married. I think the Stidhams are going to be in New England for a long time."

McCourty also commended what Hoyer can add during his third stint with the Patriots:

"He has a veteran presence. He's played on multiple teams. He knows our offense very well. I think he'll bring experience and knowledge, and if he has to go out there and play, he's going to compete at a high level. Or if it's coaching up young quarterbacks, I think he's a guy that's going to be very necessary to have in our locker room."

In addition to the Colts and Patriots, Hoyer has played for the Arizona Cardinals (2012), Cleveland Browns (2013-14), Houston Texans (2015), Chicago Bears (2016) and San Francisco 49ers (2017).

Cody Kessler, drafted by Cleveland in the third round in 2016, is the other quarterback on New England's roster.