Quick Slants

Curran: Pats have to decide where their next QB is coming from

What does the ideal QB room look like for New England in 2024?

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The New England Patriots need to revamp their offense this offseason. That starts with addressing the quarterback position, which was a glaring issue throughout their 4-13 campaign.

Fortunately for them, they'll have the option to take their next QB with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. They could also sign one of the top free-agent options to serve as a bridge to their next signal-caller, or a combination of the two.

Regardless, the Mac Jones era in New England appears all but over and it would be a surprise if the team went with Bailey Zappe as the starter in 2024. That means a critical decision awaits the new Patriots regime. And as our Tom E. Curran puts it, they must decide what their ideal QB room going forward looks like.

"What (Jerod) Mayo, (Eliot) Wolf, (Alex) Van Pelt and (Ben) McAdoo have to determine is, what kind of veteran do you want?" Curran said on Tuesday's Quick Slants. "Do you want a placeholder who's similar to the quarterback that you think you're gonna get? Like Tyrod Taylor if you have Jayden Daniels, or Sam Darnold if it's Drake Maye? Do you want a guy who can maybe win some games and get you to the playoffs like (Baker) Mayfield or (Kirk) Cousins or even Gardner Minshew? Do you even consider Mac (Jones) or (Bailey) Zappe?

"This all should have been done last year, of course. It was absolute malpractice to go into the 2023 season with Mac by himself on the roster, and then you reclaim Zappe and (Malik) Cunningham with a straight face and you say, 'Yeah, here's our quarterback room,' especially when Bill (Belichick) was actively loathing Mac. But the hole has been dug."

Fellow Patriots insider Phil Perry chimed in with what he believes would be the best-case scenario for a veteran-rookie QB duo.

"When it comes to the veteran, you're gonna want a guy who could run the new Patriots scheme. That is the old Browns scheme. Alex Van Pelt, (Browns head coach) Kevin Stefanski, the marriage there," Perry said.

"I really like Jacoby Brissett. I think he is going to be cost-effective. Not gonna be able to use up so much money on him that you can't pay a receiver, for instance. And then go get Jayden Daniels in the draft because I think he can run that kind of scheme again. The comp for Daniels that we got from (Dan) Orlovsky was CJ Stroud. Stroud is in a similar offense in Houston."

Since being drafted in the third round by the Patriots in 2016, Brissett has carved out a role in the league as a solid backup QB and spot starter. The 31-year-old appeared in only three games last season as Sam Howell's backup in Washington but excelled when called upon. In 2022, he completed 64 percent of his passes for 2,608 yards, 12 touchdowns, and six interceptions in 16 games (11 starts) with Cleveland. He went 4-7 as the starter.

Daniels and Maye are the QB options the Patriots are most likely to choose from with the third pick in the draft. If they aren't in love with either, they reportedly will consider trading down and rolling with whoever they sign in free agency.

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