Following the Super Bowl, Raiders backup quarterback Marcus Mariota appeared to be the next QB to get traded after Matthew Stafford. There were numerous reports that the Raiders were entertaining various trade offers and the team was close to making a deal.
Fast forward a week and it appears that the market has dried up for Mariota. The big reason for this lack of movement is due to the incentives in his current contract.
Mariota is owed $10 million dollars, which is already too steep for the role of a bridge QB as a team transitions into its future. However, his salary goes up significantly if Mariota becomes a starter and “The issue is based on incentives. If he is the starter and ends up playing the entire season, he can make an additional $12 million, so more than $20 million for Marcus Mariota. Teams, as of right now, don’t seem to think that’s something that would be worth it, especially when you consider they’d also give up a draft pick to trade for him. That trade market has now dried up significantly.”
It’s hard to imagine any team willing to trade for Mariota and that price tag. Instead, teams like the Patriots could be waiting to see if the Raiders end up cutting their backup QB once Free Agency starts in mid-March.
The Raiders are over the cap and they could save $11.3 million dollars with no dead cap hit if they cut Mariota. It seems likely that his days in Vegas are over. But, could he end up in New England?
Cam Newton (+525)
Cam Newton is a free agent and it’s unclear if he will return to New England or not. One thing is for certain, Newton isn’t ready to accept the role of a backup quarterback which might prevent him from returning to the Patriots.
Another thing to consider for betting on New England is how the offense performed last season. This was easily one of the worst passing offenses in the league and Cam Newton had a terrible season throwing eight TDs and 10 INTs.
When the team first signed him last summer, many pundits and fans felt that he could be a suitable replacement for the departed Tom Brady. Instead, they got a shell of the old Newton.
However, the Patriots are to blame as well due to the fact that they had no supporting cast for Newton and their cupboard remains bare of talent on the offensive side of the ball.
Furthermore, a lack of stableness at QB means that big name free agents aren’t looking to go to New England.
This week, 49ers GM John Lynch left very little wriggle room when asked if there was “any doubt” that Jimmy Garoppolo, if healthy, would be the starting QB for the 2021 season opener.https://t.co/iz2N33iqSN
Newton’s days as a top tier quarterback are clearly over. He’s more of an athletic game manager now. Yet, he could be had on the cheap and would make sense to fill the starting role this year if New England drafts a QB in the 1st round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Jimmy Garoppolo (+525)
The current 49ers QB has been the subject of many rumors this offseason. He’s also been the subject of the ire from the 49er faithful.
In a league where the quarterback is expected to be one of the best players on the team, Garoppolo has not reached that level with the 49ers. In fact, he can’t even stay healthy enough to really showcase what his skills are over a period of a few years.
Combine that with the 49ers’ run first offense and we have a scenario where Jimmy G. could be better suited for another team than San Francisco.
Yet, 49ers GM John Lynch is backing Garoppolo by declaring that he will be the starting quarterback for the team in 2021.
The Patriots traded Garoppolo four years ago and then he signed a big extension with the 49ers. He’s owed nearly $50 million dollars over the next two years and hasn’t lived up to the massive contract.
If the Patriots could reunite with Jimmy G., it could be a win-win scenario for all parties involved. He already knows the system and is someone that fits within the Patriots’ culture.
It would cost a lot to trade for Garoppolo, but it would be worth it if New England believes he can lead them back to the Playoffs and contend with the Bills for the AFC division.
Last year, Fitzpatrick was lighting up the stat sheets before the team decided to go with their rookie quarterback and signal that they were building for the future.
In nine appearances last year, Fitz threw for 2,091 yards and 13 TDs. He said that the last two seasons have really lit a fire within in him and that he desires to play this season:
“There’s rumors everywhere in the quarterback market, but there are a lot of teams looking for a new quarterback or new quarterbacks. So, for me, personally, I have to take every offseason now, and just reassess. And I know, these last two years have really re-lit that fire under me, and I still want to play, and I enjoy being out there playing.”
If the Patriots were interested in bringing Fitzpatrick back, they would most likely be in competition with other teams as there are reports that Washington and Denver are looking at “Fitzmagic.”
One thing is for certain, there’s no way that Fitzpatrick returns to Miami as the team won’t want Tua looking over his shoulder. Additionally, they won’t want to pay what Fitz could get elsewhere.
Would the Patriots get into a bidding war for Fitzpatrick?
Jarrett Stidham (+600)
About this time last year, after Brady left the Patriots and went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there was a lot of bravado coming from the Patriots organization and their fanbase that the second year quarterback could become the starting quarterback for New England.
Unfortunately for Stidham, by time we got to “training camp,” he already appeared to be declining in the eyes of the teams’ shot callers. Furthermore, he suffered an injury that put him behind and pretty much allowed Cam Newton to claim the starting spot.
Yet, when Newton struggled and also missed a game due to covid, the team went with Brian Hoyer instead of Stidham. In fact, even when the team was already eliminated from the Playoffs, they still went with Newton as the starting QB the final two weeks of the season. Reports have recently come out stating that the organization didn’t have faith in Stidham to be the starter.
That lack of faith trickled onto the field as you could see players showing their lack of confidence him as well. It was as if he couldn’t even command the respect of his peers in a huddle. With a clear lack of confidence in Stidham, there’s absolutely no way that the team moves forward with him as their starting QB for 2021.
In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he somehow ends up as the third QB for the team or released at some point prior to the regular season. Of all the betting options available for this wager, Stidham is the one name you can cross off immediately.
Andy Dalton (+700)
Dalton was the backup QB for the Cowboys last year, but was thrusted into the starting role after Dak Prescott suffered a season ending leg injury. In 10 games, he threw for 2,170 yards, 14 TDs and 8 INTs. Nine of those games came as the starter and the team went 4-5 during that stretch.
When Dalton missed two weeks due to a concussion, the Cowboys rolled out Ben DiNucci and Garret Gilbert. Both young quarterbacks fell flat on their face and proved that Dalton was the clear choice at QB for the rest of the season.
Dalton had his moments where he looked like the former starter in Cincy. He also had his moments where he looked lost. But, that was to be expected since last year was his first with the team. And, it was a great deal financially for Dallas as they only paid him $3 million dollars.
Dalton could be highly sought after this offseason as he still has the potential to start in this league. In fact, there’s talk that the Broncos could bring him in to compete with their struggling young quarterback Drew Lock.
The Patriots could use Dalton’s services as he would come with a cheaper price tag than other options and he would make for the perfect bridge QB to whatever the Patriots decide to do at this position for the future.
Mac Jones (+800)
Former Alabama quarterback Mac Jones is expected to get drafted in the Top 10 of this year’s NFL Draft. After a stellar 2020 season where he helped lead the Crimson Tide to another National Championship, Jones appears to be on the radar of many QB needy teams.
Currently, most NFL draft gurus are projecting Jones to go 8th overall to the Carolina Panthers. If the Patriots really want Jones, they would have to trade up to get him. That move up in the draft might cost them too much draft capital.
Furthermore, there’s more buzz for the Patriots moving up for another QB rather than Jones.
Trey Lance (+1000)
Yes, that other QB that has been linked to the Patriots is Trey Lance from North Dakota State. The most recognized draft guru is Mel Kiper who proposed in his latest mock draft that the Patriots will move up to the 9th spot in a trade with the Broncos to draft Lance:
“Belichick and the Patriots have been quiet this offseason, but that should change soon. They have money to spend in free agency, and they need to find a quarterback. It doesn’t appear likely that Cam Newton will return. The veteran QB trade market has dwindled. I could see a Jimmy Garoppolo return to New England, but I’m not sold that he’d be the long-term answer. Lance could be. He started only 17 career games in college — all against FCS competition — but he’s only 20, and he has all the tools to be a great dual-threat quarterback. Remember that the Patriots have a few players returning after opting out of last season, too, so they could contend in the AFC East again.”
For a franchise that normally trades down, this would be a bold move for New England. Yet, it would be a smart one if they believe in Lance.
The team could draft Lance, develop him this year, while having him play behind and learn from a veteran QB like Dalton or Fitzpatrick.
At just 20 years old, New England could even have Lance sit for two years until he’s fully matured in the system, which is how the league used to treat rookie QBs.
I like this idea from Kiper. With that said, there’s no way the Patriots go with a 20 year old as their starting QB for 2021 even if they open up their draft treasure chest to move up and select him.
Who Will Start for the Patriots in 2021?
I don’t see the Patriots bringing back Cam Newton. The 2020 experience has left a bad taste in the mouth of the organization and the fanbase. Newton would be better suited on a different team that actually has more of a supporting cast.
You can rule out Stidham as New England has no confidence in him. Furthermore, I don’t see the Patriots starting a rookie QB this year regardless if it’s Lance or Jones. I also don’t see New England going with Fitzpatrick when they could find someone younger and more athletic.
Of the betting options for this wager, Dalton and Mariota make the most sense. Of these two, I would go with Mariota. He has the ability to start in this league, the athleticism to be successful in this offense, and would make a great transitional quarterback for a team that could still take one in the draft.
If you believe it will be Mariota, then bet on him now because his odds will shrink once the Raiders release him.
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
The information found on Gamblingsites.org is for entertainment purposes only. It is a purely informational website that does not accept wagers of any kind. Although certain pages within Gamblingsites.org feature or promote other online websites where users are able to place wagers, we encourage all visitors to confirm the wagering and/or gambling regulations that are applicable in their local jurisdiction (as gambling laws may vary in different states, countries and provinces).
Gamblingsites.org uses affiliates links from some of the sportsbooks/casinos it promotes and reviews, and we may receive compensation from those particular sportsbooks/casinos in certain circumstances. Gamblingsites.org does not promote or endorse any form of wagering or gambling to users under the age of 18. If you believe you have a gambling problem, please visit BeGambleAware or GAMCARE for information and help.