Patriots' QB options for 2020 just got clearer entering free agency

Darren Hartwell
NBC Sports Boston

The NFL's game of quarterback musical chairs is almost over.

After Tuesday's bombshell news that Tom Brady is leaving the New England Patriots to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the QB dominos started to fall: Teddy Bridgewater reportedly agreed to a deal with the Carolina Panthers, Philip Rivers reportedly committed to the Indianapolis Colts and the Jacksonville Jaguars reportedly traded Nick Foles to the Chicago Bears.

On Wednesday afternoon, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported the Los Angeles Chargers also are out of the QB market and plan to stick with Tyrod Taylor in 2020.

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If you believe (as Phil Perry writes, some do) that Jarrett Stidham has star potential, then the Patriots are all set at quarterback, too.

But if you believe Bill Belichick doesn't want to entrust his franchise to a 23-year-old entering his second year, then New England may explore the QB market via trade or free agency.

Good news on that front: Assuming the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins both take QBs in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Patriots essentially will have their pick of veteran quarterbacks.

There are plenty to choose from, too.

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Former Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston essentially is the only notable remaining QB entering free agency.

On the trade market, Cincinnati's Andy Dalton (who's been linked to the Patriots this offseason), Carolina's Cam Newton, Indianapolis' Jacoby Brissett and Chicago's Mitchell Trubisky all will be looking for new jobs in 2020.

As Rapoport reported Wednesday, the Patriots aren't expected to break the bank for a new QB, which likely would rule out Newton and Winston.

But the current state of the QB market means New England doesn't need to rush to find a Brady replacement, as Dalton, Brissett and Trubisky likely won't be scooped up soon.

Patriots' QB options for 2020 just got clearer entering free agency originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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