NFL rumors: Patriots already getting denied by solutions to QB problem

The New England Patriots post-Tom Brady quarterback situation continues to be a sore spot.

New England Patriots Introduce Jerod Mayo as Head Coach
New England Patriots Introduce Jerod Mayo as Head Coach / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

With a storied history behind them and proof that winning, tough quarterbacks are respected in New England, it's hard to believe that NFL signal callers looking for a new home wouldn't want to play for the Patriots. But so far, finding the right answer to the post-Tom Brady era of the position is proving to be difficult.

First, the team went with Mac Jones, a rookie out of Alabama. After a solid rookie season that earned him a Pro Bowl nod, his performance fell starkly. Now, the Patriots look likely to move on from Jones and try on another solution for size at the crucially important roster spot.

Now, it looks like it may be a difficult one to fill, with the Patriots getting denied by at least one possible candidate.

Baker Mayfield unlikely to be interested in signing with Patriots

According to Chad Graff of The Athletic, at least two stars, both Buccaneers, have already scoffed at the idea of signing with the Patriots (subscription required). New England's dynasty era is not doing it favors in the modern player acquisition market.

Graff reports that Baker Mayfield is unlikely to have any mutual interest in the Patriots, and also says his sources indicated to him that, while the Patriots were interested in wide receiver Mike Evans, Evans had, "no interest" in coming to New England. Since, he has signed a new deal to stay in Tampa Bay, avoiding free agency entirely. His concern may have been less about New England and more about wanting to keep playing in Tampa.

That narrows the options for New England at both quarterback and receiver, with Graff reporting the team's top priority in free agency is signing a game-changing receiver.

Of course, if Mayfield's free agency doesn't go how he expects and he has fewer suitors, perhaps New England can then step in, but after a 2024 in which Mayfield stepped forward and led the Buccaneers to the postseason, he's likely to have options. Returning to the Buccaneers figures to be one of the most logical, but several teams could use Mayfield as a high-upside bridge quarterback after what he proved in Tampa.

Free agency has yet to start, with the draft to come as well. The Patriots have plenty of time yet to figure the QB role out. But even before it officially kicks off, looks like it will begin with a swing and a miss.

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