Jerod Mayo: Drake Maye, Jacoby Brissett will compete for the starting job

The Patriots have started five quarterbacks in the four years since Tom Brady left. They still are searching for their franchise quarterback.

They have confidence No. 3 overall pick Drake Maye is him, but coach Jerod Mayo concedes that veteran Jacoby Brissett could begin the season as the starter.

The Patriots hope Maye wins the job sooner than later, but they are not going to rush him into the job before he's ready.

"Coming in as a rookie, hopefully he’s a sponge," Mayo told Cameron Wolfe of NFL Media about Maye. "A lot of good players in that locker room. Look, Jacoby understands. He's a mentor. He's very smart, has great leadership skills, and hopefully Drake can learn something from him, as well. I would say we're going to compete all spring. We're going to compete during training camp, and the best player will start."

Brissett has the advantage, with knowledge of the playbook already and with eight years and 48 starts more than Maye.

"You can sit here and say he's not supposed to be pro-ready," Mayo said of Maye, "but once you get a guy in the building, what if he's tearing us up on defense?"

Jones started every game during his rookie season of 2021, and the Patriots went 10-7 and Jones earned Pro Bowl honors. The rest of his time in New England wasn't as productive, which is why Maye has replaced Jones as the team's future.

Maye's time might be now, but the Patriots aren't handing him anything. He will have to earn it.