John Tomase

Why signing Russell Wilson would be a terrible move for Patriots

The Patriots should steer clear the veteran quarterback.

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I can picture the Macklemore commercial now as Russell Wilson joins the Patriots to "mentor" whatever quarterback is left at No. 3 in the draft:

"That's Russell Wilson's quarterback room. . . That's Russell Wilson's offense. . . See that over there? That's Russell Wilson's job."

Of all the crazy, desperate, and just kinda pathetic pitches for how the Patriots can compete next year, signing Wilson to serve as a willing bridge to Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels or Michael Penix Jr. might be the most delusional of all.

For one, the Patriots aren't a bridge QB away from competing, even if that bridge's name is Brady or Manning. For another, Wilson is probably the last quarterback I'd want anywhere near the Future of the Franchise. For yet another, Wilson wants to go to the Hall of Fame, and the rebuilding Patriots do not offer a platform on which to make that case. Oh, and there's also this: he's cooked.

But yes, by all means, let's convince an over-the-hill Wilson to come to Foxboro. It's only a good idea if you haven't watched him for one second over the last two years. The Broncos basically blew up their franchise to get him, watched him win just 11 games while absorbing a Drew-Bledsoe-as-wildebeest-like 100 sacks, and then decided to eat more dead money ($85 million) than any team in NFL history to make him go away.

For Patriots fans hoping Wilson can restore the team to respectability immediately, please sit down. There are no quick fixes. Not with this group.

Bill Belichick didn't lose his job because the Patriots simply need a new voice. He lost his job because they need to start over. The following numbers come courtesy of our own Tom E. Curran, who's as clear-eyed about the state of the team as anyone, and they're damning.

The Patriots were tied for last in the league in points per game (13.9), 31st in time of possession, 31st on third down, 32nd on fourth down, 31st in first downs per game, 32nd in interception rate, 30th in passing yards per play, 25th in rushing average, and 30th in yards per game.

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Their offense is broken. It's already being led by a new coach and coordinator, it will soon have a new quarterback, and it could use a new offensive line and new receivers, too.

Chasing wins next year is pointless. There's a better chance of picking in the top three again than making the playoffs. As it is, were anyone other than Belichick coaching last year, the Pats might've won one game instead of four.

Belichick's last victory, fittingly enough, came at Mile High in what turned out to be Wilson's final appearance in orange and blue. The Broncos still had designs on a playoff berth when they let the Patriots take a 23-7 lead into the fourth quarter before Wilson led a furious game-tying comeback.

Given the ball with just under two minutes left and Denver's season on the line, however, Wilson went three and out before Chad Ryland booted the game-winning 56-yarder.

After that one, head coach Sean Payton decided he had seen enough of the scrambling freelancer with diminished athleticism. He benched Wilson and telegraphed his intention to sever ties before Wilson's $245 million extension even started. Now, the best that can be said about him is he'll essentially join his next team for free.

Even at the price, the entire Wilson package is hardly worth the headache. He reportedly tried to get Pete Carroll fired in Seattle, he received his own office in Denver, and none other than Hall of Fame executive Ron Wolf – father of Patriots de facto GM Eliot Wolf – called Wilson a diva in a 2021 interview with the Big Show Radio Network.

That doesn't exactly sound like the guy I'd want warming the seat for my potential franchise quarterback. I'm sure he'd happily cede the reins when he loses his job in Week 6. There's no chance he'd undermine his rookie head coach, either, right? No thank you.

Fortunately, this is a purely academic exercise because it's hard to decide what's more nonsensical – the Patriots wanting Wilson, or Wilson wanting them. He'll reportedly meet with the Steelers before free agency begins next week, and that should be the end of this story, since Pittsburgh is desperate for a quarterback to lead a roster that's otherwise built to win now.

That's Russell Wilson's future. Not some deranged fantasy of him rescuing the Patriots for a year before graciously stepping aside with a contented smile and a "Go get 'em, kid!" for the new guy.

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