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The Pats have some serious work to do

Last week I wrote that Matthew Stafford was the lead horse in the 2021 QB carousel.

Since then, Deshaun Watson has formally requested to be traded from Houston and the Lions and Rams pulled off one of the biggest player for player trades in league history.

Matt Stafford was sent to the Rams for every Rams’ first round pick not tied down (by the league) and quarterback Jared Goff. #1 overall pick quarterbacks are rarely traded, let alone for each other.

Cross Stafford off the list of potential quarterbacks for the New England Patriots, but according to Tom E. Curran, Stafford should never have been on the list in the first place. Curran reported on Sunday that Matthew Stafford said that he would accept a trade to any team EXCEPT the New England Patriots.

There are a lot of conclusions that could be drawn, the straightest line is that Stafford didn’t want a reunion with former head coach Matt Patricia, who was recently brought back to New England as an assistant. (Rumor was that their first year together in Detroit was tumultuous, but the relationship improved in years two and three, but apparently not enough for the quarterback to want to ever be around him again.)

Matthew Stafford will not be the quarterback of the New England Patriots in 2021and neither will Deshaun Watson and for the very same reasons: they’ve both been soured on the Patriot-way after a off-brand experience. When Patricia was hired in Detroit, it was by GM Bob Quinn who cut his teeth under Bill Belichick in New England. Quinn proceeded to sign and trade for as many former Patriots as he could. (Danny Amendola, Trey Flowers and Duron Harmon to name a few.)

Would this situation sound familiar? It would if you have been paying attention at all to what’s been going on in Houston. Former Patriots OC Billy O’Brien is hired as head coach, he takes over the GM role and encourages owner Cal McNair to bring in the Patriots chaplain Jack Easterby as a consultant. O’Brien gets fired, Easterby’s stature within the organization rises and after two years of tampering, hires the Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio.

All of this happening without the quarterback getting any imput, infuriates Watson until he requests a trade from Houston. If Watson resents the Patriots gaggle that has run the Texans these last few years, do you think he’s in a rush to then want to join Bill Belichick and the real thing? (Would be a great band name for a monotone spoken word Bon Jovi tribute band. Cut off hoodies and Madonna head sets, I feel like this would be huge in some provinces of Canada.)

The Patriots have a problem, maybe a couple of problems. Players are getting soured on the Patriots experience without ever playing for the team. I don’t think quarterbacks want the burden of playing in New England after Tom Brady, plus you add in the normal factors that go against Boston teams as it relates to free agency: too rabid fan base, even more rabid media, cold weather and an outdoor stadium. Do you think Stafford wanted to leave a dome after a dozen years and in his mid-thirties to play out the rest of his career in freezing temperatures?

Tom E. Curran reported earlier in the week that the Patriots are going to be “uncharacteristically aggressive this offseason.” The way things are shaping up, they’re going to have to be.

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