After trading Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams, are the New England Patriots building ammunition to trade up and draft a quarterback?
Tom Brady is turning 41 years old in August, and while he is coming off his fourth MVP season, Father Time remains undefeated. At some point, the New England Patriots have to get his replacement in line, and while Jimmy Garoppolo seemed to be that guy, he’s now getting paid $137.5 million by the San Francisco 49ers.
In that vein, it appears Bill Belichick is gearing up for a major move come April 26 and the 2018 NFL Draft. On Tuesday afternoon, New England traded wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams for the 24th-overall pick in the proceedings, giving New England multiple selections in the first and second rounds.
With this rookie class flush in talent at the quarterback position, this is the perfect time for New England to swoop in and make a move. The Patriots have enough ammunition to get into the top 10 picks, putting them in position to get either Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen or Baker Mayfield. If they want, the team could also trade up to a lesser degree and land Louisville star Lamar Jackson.
Additionally, NFL insider Benjamin Allbright is tweeting that New England has interest in Rosen.
Brady is still playing fantastic football and is signed through the end of the 2019 season, earning 44 million over the next two campaigns. The team is still an overwhelming favorite to reach the Super Bowl for a third straight year, centering the offense around Rob Gronkowski and the return of Julian Edelman.
Still, the losses New England has sustained this offseason have to be accounted for. The Patriots watched as Malcolm Butler, Dion Lewis, Nate Solder and Danny Amendola exited stage left via free agency. New England has to hope that Edelman and Gronkowski can stay on the field, something the latter has consistently struggled with. The offense will revolve around them more than ever, while Malcolm Mitchell will also becoming more integral in the process.
With Brady aging and the talent around him doing the same, the Patriots are clearly playing to win but with an eye toward the future. Keeping that notion in mind, the most logical conclusion to all these picks is a packaging to move up before nabbing the next franchise quarterback, who will likely be tied to Josh McDaniels’ hip moving forward.