NFL Rumors: With Tom Brady Leaving, New England Patriots Could Trade To Draft A Top Quarterback

Tom Brady walks off the field after an NFL game.
Brett Carlsen / Getty Images

The New England Patriots may not be in the Super Bowl this year, but the team is still dominating the NFL news cycle with the possible departure of Tom Brady and what one insider thinks could be a move to snag a top quarterback in this May’s NFL Draft.

Brady has been under center for the last two decades in New England, leading the Patriots to nine Super Bowl appearances and six wins, but he could be on a new team in 2020. The Patriots are not expected to stand pat, however, with former top Bill Belichick assistant Charlie Weis believing New England will make a big move to find his replacement.

Weis said the Patriots will likely look for help beyond current backup Jarrett Stidham, snagging a reliable veteran to start and trading up for one of the year’s top quarterbacks.

“But I also wouldn’t put it past Bill to run all the way to the top of the draft, and go get one of the big boys. I wouldn’t put it past him,” Weis said, via Yahoo! Sports.

Brady Will Hit Free Agency For The First Time

The future is currently murky for the Patriots, with Brady’s contract voiding and the future Hall of Fame quarterback testing the free agency waters for the first time in his career. While Brady has been reluctant to talk about what he might be doing, there are signs that he is done with the Patriots.

One of those signs came in the form of a cryptic social media post that Brady shared this week, showing him walking out the tunnel at an empty Gillette Stadium. Brady did not elaborate on the meaning of the post, but many saw it as a goodbye to the only team he has known in the NFL.

There is expected to be plenty of interest in Brady, with Dale Arnold of WEEI reporting this week that close to a dozen teams may be bidding for his services. That includes at least two teams that already made big investments at quarterback.

“I have been told as many as 11 teams may have already indicated to the Brady camp that there is some interest. I have been told that the Redskins are interested. The next two probably would shock you…because I was told the Jets may be interested, and Joe Judge may be interested for the New York Giants,” Arnold said on Wednesday.

The Patriots Have The No. 23 Overall Pick

If the Patriots do intend to trade up for a quarterback, it could take a considerable investment. The Patriots currently hold the No. 23 overall pick in May’s NFL Draft, and would likely need to move into the Top 5 to take one of this year’s top contending quarterbacks, Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa. Based on recent years, it would take multiple first-round picks and likely some other high-round picks to move that far into the first round.

If the Patriots are willing to aim for one of the second tier quarterbacks, it may not take so big of a jump. A mock draft from CBS Sports had five quarterbacks taken in the first 15 picks of the draft.

But the Patriots have still not made it clear what they intend to do in the draft, or if Brady could end up on the team next year. A list of odds this week shared by The Action Network on Twitter still had New England as favorites to re-sign Brady.