As the New England Patriots' 2020 season nears its end, it's time to ponder how this team can improve next season and return to the top of the AFC East.
Their Week 15 opponent, the Miami Dolphins, may have the blueprint to follow. With up-and-coming quarterback Tua Tagovailoa set to lead the franchise for years to come, they're in an admirable position.
So for the Patriots to return to the top of their division, is it as simple as getting a boost at QB? Or is there far more work to be done during the offseason? Matt Cassel, Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discussed on a brand new Patriots Talk Podcast.
"The big question mark is the quarterback position," said Cassel. "You have to hit on the quarterback position because I don't think Cam coming back is going to help resurrect this team. They're going to have to move forward, find the right guy ..."
Perry believes that improving at QB next season will make New England a contender in the AFC East once again.
"If they hit on the quarterback, I really don't think it's asking too much of them to say they should be in the mix for the division next year," Perry said. "If you can get competent quarterback play and two capable pass-catchers on top of what you've had this year, I think you could compete."
Curran isn't about to jump to that conclusion just yet, as he believes there are far more holes to fill than just the quarterback position.
"We don't yet know how many holes they actually have," Curran said. "The Patriots have these free agents on their own team that are core players with that $60 million of cap space: David Andrews, Joe Thuney, James White, Rex Burkhead, Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler, Jason McCourty. They also have Stephon Gilmore who's going to want a significant raise. ... Julian Edelman's 34 [years old], Devin McCourty's 30-plus, Dont'a Hightower might not come back, we'll see about that. Patrick Chung is 30-plus. These are your core guys."
Also discussed on the new episode: Is the Dolphins franchise where the Patriots want to be? What other teams can the Patriots model their rebuild after? Should James White and Julian Edelman be a part of the future? Is the key to have N’Keal Harry play more physical? And much more.