Unless Jarrett Stidham shows that he's not your average fourth-round pick, the New England Patriots don't have a long, or short-term answer at quarterback in the wake of Tom Brady's move south. There were a few different avenues the franchise could have chosen to take this offseason (trading for Andy Dalton or taking a flier on a free agent like Jameis Winston), but instead the team chose to essentially stand pat and only brought back journeyman Brian Hoyer to help with depth at the position.
However, if the last two decades have taught us anything, it's to doubt Bill Belichick at your own peril. After a 20-year reign as the team to beat in the NFL, we're all safely assuming he has some kind of plan that will prevent the Patriots from sliding back into the dark days of yore. Back before Brady and even Drew Bledsoe, when the team was a laughingstock more seasons than not.
Right now, it's somewhat difficult to see what that plan looks like. Colin Cowherd thought he'd take a stab at it today, suggesting the Patriots kept their quarterback room as is because they're looking to earn a top draft pick next April for the opportunity to draft Trevor Lawrence.
The crux of Cowherd's argument is that New England would have traded for Dalton if it was planning on doing anything other than losing throughout the year while playing hard, à la the 2019 Miami Dolphins. The roster is barren at the skill positions and Belichick, a man who always has a plan, recognizes that using this year as a bridge to a brighter future is the best path forward.