This will be the beginning of a series examining the Patriots depth chart at each position, factoring all new acquisitions including free agents and rookies. Let’s start with quarterbacks.
There’s really not much to say here. The greatest quarterback of all time is coming off of a season where he won his third league MVP and threw for over 500 yards in the Super Bowl to bring his team one defensive stop away from a sixth Lombardi trophy. While he will turn 41 before the season starts in September, it is highly unlikely that his play drops off significantly. Brady will be Brady for at least another season or two.
The journeyman quarterback has spent time on six NFL franchises, mostly as a backup. He has a career win-loss record of 16-21. The rest of his stats are just as dismal: a 59% completion percentage, 48 career touchdowns to 30 interceptions, and less than 10,000 yards. If Brady were to go down, the Patriots might be able to squeak into the playoffs with Hoyer at the helm simply because of Bill Belichick, but he will not be leading them to their next Super Bowl.
The rookie out of LSU is not flashy and did not blow anyone away during his time in college. He had a career completion percentage of 57%, as well as 43 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. He is likely being brought in as a camp arm to potentially beat out Brian Hoyer. While little should be expected of him, he could always surprise us with a good outing in camp.
Bottom line: The Patriots Super Bowl hopes are entirely tied to Tom Brady’s health. They did not draft his heir, and neither Hoyer or Etling will be able to lead the team against the top talent in the AFC. However, with Brady healthy, the team has the chance once again to win its sixth Lombardi trophy.
Until next time – B$