So, just how bad has the situation become for Bill Belichick?
“The worst-case scenario has now arrived for the New England Patriots,” Colin Cowherd declared Wednesday on FS1.
Hyperbolic? Maybe. The Patriots have a bunch of salary cap space, some decent draft capital and the institutional smarts, despite some recent missteps and departures, to right the ship in short order.
Then again, as Cowherd explained, New England might find this offseason’s quarterback carousel to be less than enjoyable. For all of the QB options available, or once available, the Patriots aren’t really in position to strike.
Carson Wentz, Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff already have been traded. And now, Deshaun Watson, Jimmy Garoppolo and Dak Prescott could stay put — although a Watson trade still seems inevitable.
This could leave Sam Darnold, Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston and, yes, Newton among the top QB options available via trade or free agency. Not the most inspiring bunch relative to Brady.
It doesn’t help, either, that New England reportedly has found prices on the QB trade market to be inflated this offseason. Do the Patriots really want to engage in a bidding war for a low-tier signal-caller?
As far as the draft, the Patriots own the No. 15 overall pick, an OK selection but perhaps not good enough to land one of the five best quarterbacks in this year’s class (Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance and Mac Jones).
“This is New England post-Tom Brady: Lost. It’s the worst-case scenario,” Cowherd said. “The quarterback market’s barren, eight other teams beside you want one, and you’ve got the 15th pick.
“My guess is New England absolutely has to trade up in this draft. I don’t know what they’re gonna trade. I really don’t. They don’t have any players anybody wants. Maybe they give three first-round picks. But this is New England post-Brady.”
Sliced a different way: The Patriots’ new normal isn’t looking great.