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So much for Matthew Stafford in New England

Late Saturday night, the first blockbuster move involving a quarterback happened when the 32-year-old Stafford was traded by the Detroit Lions to the Los Angeles Rams for signal caller Jared Goff and an impressive haul of draft picks, including two first-rounders.

Yikes. That sounds like too steep a price for a penny pincher like Bill Belichick. It was widely reported Stafford wanted nothing to do with the Patriots anyways.

Some may argue it's because deposed Lions head coach Matt Patricia is back in New England as an assistant, while others argue the Patriots' receiving core is a dumpster fire.

Now that Stafford is off the board, let's make a case for some other potential targets.

DESHAUN WATSON

Like Stafford, trading Watson may come at a high price.

Houston will likely want at least a first-round draft pick and players in return. The Pats would likely have to ship at least J.C. Jackson or Stephon Gilmore to the Texans.

The X-factor? Longtime Pats scout and assistant coach Nick Caserio is now the GM in Houston. Could New England swindle Caserio the way the Celtics did to Kevin McHale in 2007 when McHale was a driving force behind shipping some guy named Kevin Garnett to the Green?

JIMMY GAROPPOLO

Jimmy G did an admirable job filling in for Tom Brady for a game in a half at the start of the 2016 season when Brady was suspended, but Garoppolo is injury-prone, having torn an ACL in 2018 while with San Francisco.

Garoppolo is certainly familiar with New England's complicated offense, and did lead the 49ers to a Super Bowl in 2019 and probably would've won it had Kyle Shanahan not taken his foot off the gas pedal in the fourth quarter last February.

However, the Pats' receiving room in 2016 is far more talented than that of 2020, still assuming Belichick will address it. That certainly helped Jimmy G perform the way he did before he went down with a shoulder injury in game two of 2016.

The 49ers may be looking to go in a new direction at quarterback in 2021, and a Garoppolo reunion could make sense if the price is right.

CAM NEWTON

Newton is a talented quarterback who was dealt a not-so-ideal hand in 2020.

The former MVP was signed late in the offseason by the Pats, leaving him scrambling to learn the offense with no offseason program due to Covid-19.

Newton got off to a pretty solid start before testing positive for the deadly virus, and he wasn't the same since. Again, a less than stellar wide receiver group, in particular after Julian Edelman hurt his knee, didn't help.

Newton certainly won't be Belichick's No. 1 option, but wouldn't it be fair to see what he could do with a full offseason program and competent targets to throw the ball to? The return of Covid opt-out Marquise Lee should certainly help the receiving core.

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STERLING PINGREE HAS SOME THOUGHTS ON WHO WILL BE COMING TO PLAY IN NEW ENGLAND NEXT SEASON AND BEYOND. CHECK OUT HIS BLOG LATER IN THE CHOWDAH.



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