Phil Perry

Why Jacoby Brissett's return to Patriots always made sense

Even if New England picks a QB at No. 3 overall, Brissett is a perfect fit.

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The Patriots need to be convinced that the quarterback who falls to them at No. 3 overall in the draft is going to be a franchise guy. Otherwise, they aren't taking him.

But whether they draft a quarterback early or not, they were always going to need another option. They were always going to need someone in case the rookie isn't ready or gets banged up. It also made sense for the Patriots to add a veteran placeholder in case, for whatever reason, they aren't sold on the quarterback at No. 3 overall and pass on the position entirely in the first round.

That's exactly what New England's de facto general manager Eliot Wolf and his front office did on Monday, reportedly coming to a one-year, $8 million agreement with Jacoby Brissett.

This move has made a lot of sense for some time now. Why? 

Brissett has familiarity with new Patriots offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt and quarterbacks coach T.C. McCartney, both of whom were in Cleveland and worked with Brissett in 2022. He'll have a sense of how to operate the West Coast system Van Pelt brings with him from the Browns.

Brissett, drafted in the third round in 2016 by the Patriots, also happens to be considered a positive influence in a team facility by those who've been around him. He's smart and is unafraid to share his opinion, one of his former coaches told NBC Sports Boston. 

"Love him," the coach texted Monday night. "He's a pro. Great locker room guy... Speaks his mind and knows what it is supposed to look like."

Brissett spent a year with Tom Brady in 2016 and then the following two years backing up Andrew Luck in Indianapolis. The 6-foot-4, 235-pounder has a career completion percentage of 61.3 and a career passer rating of 85.3 -- not all that far off of the career marks of another free agent quarterback in this class, Baker Mayfield (61.9, 88.1), who just earned himself a new three-year deal in Tampa Bay.

In three appearances for the Commanders last season, Brissett completed 18 of his 23 attempts for 224 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. 

With Bailey Zappe and Nathan Rourke still on the Patriots roster, Brissett is the current favorite in that group to start for the team come the fall. 

But even if New England adds a promising rookie with their No. 3 overall pick, even if the team plans on starting that rookie early next season, bringing in Brissett as a sage veteran No. 2 makes all kinds of sense.

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