The New England Patriots are reportedly very interested in UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen and seem to have the ammunition to move up in the 2018 NFL Draft. So what does the team’s interest in Rosen mean for Tom Brady’s future?
Rosen is generally projected to go in the top six of this year’s draft, but some believe he may be falling due to questions about his durability and off-field personality. There’s a chance he’ll be available later in the first round, and the Patriots certainly have things to offer. New England currently own the 23rd, 31st, 43rd, 63rd and 95th picks in the draft. Some combination of those selections could easily get the Pats into the top 10 to select a quarterback.
We know Bill Belichick was forced to trade his preferred quarterback of the future in Jimmy Garoppolo and currently doesn’t have a long-term succession plan in place. It would make sense for the Patriots to use one of their early picks on a young quarterback this year. But Rosen is generally considered the most polished option, so it’s not like he’s a developmental project who will need to sit behind a veteran for a few seasons.
Brady has yet to commit to playing in 2018, but it’s almost universally agreed that he’ll be back. So Rosen would sit behind him in 2018, but what would happen after that? The UCLA product isn’t one to sit quietly and wait his turn and the 40-year-old Brady claims he wants to play into his mid-40s. Neither guy is going to want the other around.
With Brady seemingly leading a revolt against Belichick in New England, would the coach be willing to muddy the waters even further by drafting his long-time signal-caller’s replacement? Well, I think we can all agree Belichick has never been one to blink in the face of pressure. He’s going to stand his ground and get the player he likes the best. He was forced to part with Garoppolo before he wanted to and it feels like he’s not going to be backed into that corner again.
The Patriots are almost certainly going to draft a quarterback this year and whether that’s Rosen, Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson or someone like Mason Rudolph, Brady won’t be alone moving forward. He’ll be looking over his shoulder again soon and based on what we know, that’s not a position he’s comfortable in.
It seems like the Patriots drama will continue well into next season.