The New England Patriots’ interest in quarterbacks in the 2014 NFL draft class has caught many off guard.
They showed a lot of interest in the potential top overall pick, Blake Bortles of the Central Florida Golden Knights and have brought the other two top quarterback prospects, Teddy Bridgewater of the Louisville Cardinals and Johnny Manziel of the Texas A&M Aggies, in for visits. They have also shown interest in a local product, Chase Rettig of the Boston College Eagles.
According to Over the Cap, the Patriots may in fact be setting up to take Tom Brady’s eventual replacement in this year’s draft.
The low salaries taken by Brady have dropped the Patriots salary cap allocations to the position into average or below ranges. The Patriots salary cap spending on QB ranks as follows among teams with a QB under contract the next four seasons:
If the Patriots added a QB with the 29th pick in the draft it would add about $1.4 million to their cap this year, $1.7 in 2015, $2.1 in 2016, and $2.5 in 2017. They would also control the players’ rights at a modest salary in 2018 when Brady’s contract would be finished. Adding these salaries would bump the Patriots up in the rankings by about 1 team in each year, still allowing them to be middle of the pack while employing Tom Brady and a first round draft pick. They could move up in the draft and still be very cost competitive at the position.
The drafting of Aaron Rodgers while the Green Bay Packers still had Brett Favre was the right move and maybe the Patriots can have similar luck.