It sure sounds like the Patriots aren't parting ways with Jimmy Garoppolo so why would they be working out quarterbacks before this year's draft?
According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Bill Belichick's club will put Pitt quarterback Nathan Peterman through the paces to get a feel for what he can do.
In all likelihood, the Patriots are simply doing their homework on a player who has received notable buzz in the weeks leading up to the draft as one of the undervalued players at the game's most important position.
With Tom Brady, Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett on the roster it seems unlikely they would invest in another body at that spot. But considering that in 2017 the Patriots will have a 40-year-old starter and a backup in a contract year, maytbe it's not completely out of the realm of possibility that they grab an additional signal-caller. Belichick famously kept four quarterbacks on the roster in 2000 when Drew Bledsoe entered the season as the starter ahead of Tom Brady, Michael Bishop and John Friesz.
The other theory? The Patriots may not be as closed off to the idea of trading Garoppolo as we've thought and therefore are looking at some quarterback depth . . . just . . . in . . . case.
Peterman's an interesting prospect in that in terms of his height and weight, he's a carbon copy of Garoppolo when Garoppolo came out of Eastern Illinois in 2014. Both checked in at their respective combine visits at 6-foot-2 and 226 pounds. Peterman's arms (32 inches) are an inch longer than Garoppolo's and his hands are 5/8 of an inch bigger.
At Pitt, Peterman worked out of an offense that allowed him to drop back from under center -- an increasingly rare experience for college passers -- but wasn't exactly "pro style," leaning on a steady diet of jet-sweep motion. Though his arm strength could be better, he's been lauded for his accuracy in the short-to-intermediate passing range and his ability to read defenses.
New England Patriots
In a draft short on talented quarterbacks, Peterman may be drafted before the Patriots are scheduled to make their first pick at No. 72 in the third round. But apparently that won't keep Belichick and his staff from taking a closer look.