The New England Patriots' quarterback room will look different in at least one aspect in 2023.
Even if the Patriots don't trade Mac Jones after reports that Bill Belichick "shopped" the third-year quarterback this offseason, Jones and the 23-year-old Bailey Zappe are the only two QBs on the roster after New England released Brian Hoyer this offseason.
To that end, the Patriots have "investigated" signing a veteran quarterback to complement Jones and Zappe, NFL reporter Mike Giardi reported Thursday.
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Giardi hinted at what our Tom E. Curran reported late last week: that Hoyer's issues with the Patriots' offensive setup last season played a role in the team releasing him despite owing him $ 1.4 million in guaranteed money in 2023.
Hoyer was a valuable veteran mentor for Jones and Zappe and seemingly made sense to continue that role in 2023 given his familiarity with new offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, his head coach in 2015 with the Houston Texans. Instead, the Patriots will have to shop for another experienced veteran on the free-agent QB market.
There are plenty of QBs still available -- Carson Wentz, Teddy Bridgewater, Joe Flacco, Blaine Gabbert and Chase Daniel, to name a few -- but the Patriots may not want to pay a significant salary to a backup if Jones indeed is the starter in 2023. It sounds like Belichick and his staff also will be looking for buy-in from any new QB in light of Hoyer's exit and the Jones trade rumors.
New England Patriots
In any case, the clock is ticking in New England with OTAs set to start April 17.