The New England Patriots will change things in 2021, and they are ready for a wild offseason. Head coach Bill Belichick finished his first Tom Brady-less season with a 7-9 record. He hasn’t had such a terrible record in years. The team missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2008 season. In 2008, Patriots players won 11 and lost five games.
Belichick has the third-highest salary cap in the NFL with $66,520,056 million. He doesn’t make huge splashes in free agency, but he will have to change his approach in 2021.
There are two targets for the team at this point.
Patriots to take part in Marcus Mariota, QB, Las Vegas Raiders trade in 2021 offseason
Cam Newton didn’t help the Patriots make the playoffs. They don’t have the assets to trade for someone like Deshaun Watson. The Patriots have the 15th overall pick. This is pretty far down to select one of the top prospects.
Enter Marcus Mariota. He was on the Raiders’ bench as a backup to Derek Carr. Mariota played one game all season. Las Vegas may not be ready to give him $11,350,000 too high for a backup quarterback. The team may cut him with no dead money, so they may trade him for assets.
In 2016, Mariota threw for 3,426 yards, 26 touchdowns and nine picks. NFL teams shouldn’t expect to see him back to his 2016 form. He could easily play behind a top offensive line.
New England may trade for him in exchange for a fourth-rounder.
Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Cleveland Browns
The Patriots struggled with their receiving unit in 2020. Their tight ends didn’t have great season, too.
Beckham’s 2020 season was forgettable and packed with injuries. He is a talented wideout. His cap number goes at $15,750,000 and it’s pretty similar to what top wideouts earn in free agency. Chris Godwin, Allen Robinson… Beckham is under contract until 2023 and may be cut with no dead money. The Patriots can use his speed and receiving skills. Will the Patriots swap Beckham with 2019 DPOY and cornerback Stephon Gilmore?
Trading Gilmore won’t be that easy though.