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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Tue Apr 16 - 02:00 PM | Thu Apr 18 - 11:55 AM

Patriots Unfiltered Q&A: Looking towards the future

Fan questions answered in this week's Patriots Unfiltered mailbag.


Given the situation with the cap, do you think Belichick will trade out of the first round to have more picks to fill out the roster for a cheaper price? —Mike Aboud

I could see Belichick trading out of the first round but not for cap reasons. Rookie contracts, even in the first round, are very cap friendly, and while the Patriots are up against the cap this season, the team still has room to target the players they like in the draft. The Patriots are set to pick in the first round at 23. Their third round pick is not until 87. I could see Belichick trading out of the first round to have picks closer together. However, I would like to see the Patriots use their first round pick to get a tight end, wide receiver, or linebacker. Megan O'Brien

Is the information I have heard correct that the Patriots season ticket holders now have until June 30, 2020 to pay for the season ticket package? –Ronald Evans

Thank is correct. Due to Covid-19 season ticket holders now have until June 30th 2020 to pay off their season ticket package. The previous deadline was set for March 31st. Megan O'Brien

After Friday's signing, I am pleased with the transactions so far. Vitale is a great pickup. I believe Byrd was a good signing because of his ability to return kicks as well as a speedy receiver as a fourth or fifth option. Allen in as a DT should be comparable to Shelton as far as ability. I know TE and OL are the glaring needs, but do you think LaCosse and/or Izzo are good enough to pair with a rookie TE? –Wayne Simmons

FB Dan Vitale
FB Dan Vitale

Hi Wayne! I agree with you on the signing, but I wouldn't pencil Byrd in as a kick returner just yet. He has just 12 career returns, and 11 came in 2018. I think his experience there could help, but I think his contributions in the kicking game will be one of the many things we monitor closely and talk about during the preseason. When it comes to LaCosse and Izzo, I am ready to part ways with both tight end. Neither did much last year especially in the blocking game. The Patriots need to find a veteran blocker to add to the roster. While the rookie tight end class is talented, to me, the majority of the prospects look like pass catchers. Megan O'Brien

Who will replace Tom Brady as the quarterback of the New England Patriots? –Nate Barker

That is the question every Patriots fan wants answered, Nate. I find the word "replace" next to Tom Brady's name troubling. It is impossible to replace the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. There will not be another Tom Brady. He is irreplaceable. Now, I understand the Patriots have to move on and find a quarterback to play the position. As it stands right now, there are three quarterbacks on the roster: Jarrett Stidham, Cody Kessler, and Brian Hoyer. We will find out in April if the Patriots target a rookie quarterback in the draft, but for now, it will be a competition between the three. My gut tells me that Stidham will be the opening day starter, but we have a long way to go. Megan O'Brien

What do you think of Jameis Winston? He was highly regarded coming out of college, and imagine if Winston came to New England and reached his potential? Could the Patriots trade Edelman for Winston? –Dave Phillips

It is fun to imagine Jameis Winston reaching his full potential. He was very fun to watch in college. Good quarterback play makes the league better, so I hope Winston reaches his full potential. I just don't think it will be in New England. If the Patriots were going to pay a veteran quarterback, they would have signed Brady. On top of that, Winston has had several off field issues. In my opinion, he is not a guy worth taking a chance on at this time. As far as your idea about trading Edelman for Winston, the most the Patriots are going to get for a 33-year-old wide receiver is a mid-round draft pick. Megan O'Brien

Now it's happened and the Pats go into rebuild mold. Who would you prefer out of Cam Newton or Andy Dalton? –Gary Waldron

Hi Gary! Mike Reiss said it well in his Sunday column. He called this season reboot not a rebuild. There are certainly holes on the roster, but with key players like Matthew Slater, Devin McCourty, Stephon Gilmore, Julian Edelman, and Jason McCourty back for this season the foundation of the team is strong. As far as your question regarding Cam Newton or Andy Dalton, I don't think the Patriots have interest in signing either quarterback. To me, Newton is a better quarterback when healthy, however I am not so sure he is healthy. If the Patriots were going after Newton or Dalton at this moment, I would prefer Dalton. Megan O'Brien

Cam Newton and Andy Dalton
Cam Newton and Andy Dalton

So far the Patriots have lost Brady, Collins, Van Noy, Harmon, Ebner, Gostkowski, Roberts, Shelton, and Karras. That's 20% of the roster and starters from last year! Do you think there are there are enough good free agents and draft picks to replace what we lost? –Griff Thomas

I know it seems overwhelming, Griff, but change happens every year. Last year the Patriots lost Hogan, Patterson, Waddle, Flowers, T. Brown, M. Brown and Gronkowski. There are obviously huge questions around the quarterback position, but let's not forget that it is not abnormal to deal with change each year. Megan O'Brien

Now that TB12 has moved on, it seems the biggest question is: who is going to replace him? Going with Stidham or drafting a QB is possible, but there's an enormous learning curve and a ton of pressure for any young guy to take over. I think free agency offers a better transition for the Pats but I'm not real excited about any of the current free agents available. Andy Dalton is about the only one that I think would be a potentially good fit and it's possible the Pats will make a move for him. A QB that I have always liked is Matthew Stafford. I realize he's currently under contract and of course "why would the Lions ever trade him?" What are your thoughts on getting Stafford into a Pats jersey? And, what kind of trade scenario would it take to pull it off? –Steve Kratochvil

I agree with you completely about the learning curve and pressure to take over after Tom Brady. It will be difficult for any young quarterback to take over. I just don't think the Patriots are going to spend the money on a veteran quarterback at this time. Stafford is a good quarterback. I'd love to see him in a Patriots' jersey. I think it would cost the Patriots a high draft pick and more to get Stafford. On top of that, the Patriots would have to pay Stafford's contract which is substantial. Megan O'Brien

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