Not too early to start looking at Patriots' QB options for 2021

Dec 27, 2020

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Quick-hit thoughts and notes around the New England Patriots and NFL:

1. What’s next at QB? With the Patriots eliminated from the playoffs, it is time to look to 2021, and there is no more important question for coach Bill Belichick’s team than this one: Who is the quarterback?

Cam Newton said he wants to be part of the solution, but he’s scheduled for free agency, and it’s unclear whether Belichick will keep the door open for his return. Based on two of the criteria Belichick often discusses as critical for quarterbacks — accuracy and decision-making — it would seem like a longer-odds scenario. The alternative view: Even Belichick would be likely to acknowledge he didn’t surround Newton with enough to give him the best chance to succeed in 2020.

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Meanwhile, Jarrett Stidham enters the third year of his four-year rookie contract, and he figures to be part of the 2021 plans. But does Belichick view him as anything more than a backup?

Which brings

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