Potential Veteran QBs Patriots Could Sign — And A Few They Won’t

By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots are in a bit of a pickle, in need of a backup quarterback for their backup’s backup, Jacoby Brissett, until Tom Brady returns in Week 5.

With Jimmy Garoppolo going down with a shoulder injury in their Week 2 win over the Dolphins (and a timetable on his return unclear), it leaves the Patriots with receiver Julian Edelman behind Brissett on the depth chart. That’s not going to fly come Week 3, which for the Patriots starts in just three days with the Texans coming to town for a Thursday Night Football showdown.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting the Pats aren’t interested in bringing another QB in, but Bill Belichick has to be working the phones in hopes of prying someone from their couch, the analyst desk or their job at Denny’s. There has to be a few guys out there looking to grab another few paychecks from an NFL team, so here are some options for the Patriots to sign for a few weeks until Brady gets back:

Actual Free Agent Candidates

T.J. Yates

Yates has 18 NFL games under his belt, including seven starts, for the Texans and Falcons, with two different stints in Houston. So wouldn’t it make sense to bring in a former Texans QB with Houston (he last played for them in 2015) coming to town?

Quarterback T.J. Yates (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Quarterback T.J. Yates (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Like every other lifetime backup on this list, Yates doesn’t have very good numbers in the NFL, with six touchdowns and eight interceptions. He’s also fumbled nine times, losing five of them. Maybe Edelman backing up Brissett isn’t such a bad idea after all.

Sean Renfree

We didn’t say you’d know all these guys. Renfree was a seventh-round pick by the Atlanta Falcons out of Duke in 2013, but made just seven pass attempts while playing 23 snaps in his brief career. One of those passes ended up in the hands of the oppposing defense, but that is the lowest number of career INTs of anyone on this list.

Ryan Lindley

The former sixth-round pick by the Arizona Cardinals had a cup of coffee with the Patriots last preseason, completing 22 of his 45 passes for 253 yards and an interception in a game that didn’t matter. He was released before the season started, and then latched on with the Indianapolis Colts in time to throw 11 passes at the end of that mess of a season.

Prior to that, Lindley started six games over two seasons with the Cardinals, going 1-5 while throwing 11 picks and just four touchdowns.

No, the numbers aren’t great. But he kind of knows the New England system and has started games in the NFL. Plus, he’s not a receiver.

Matt Flynn

Flynn was invited to training camp last season, but was released to make room for Lindley. So maybe Bill Belichick will bring Flynn in for Week 3, release him after the game and then sign Lindley for Week 4. It only seems right.

Let’s Have Some Fun

Matt Hasselbeck

He’s 40 and currently breaking down games on ESPN, but Hasselbeck played eight games for the Colts last season, throwing nine touchdowns to just five picks. By this list’s standards, that’s pretty good.

Charlie Whitehurst

How can you not want someone nicknamed “Clipboard Jesus” to serve as a backup? You know, as long as all he has to do is hold a clipboard.

Charlie Whitehurst (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Charlie Whitehurst (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Timothy Tebow

I know what you’re saying, he’s a minor league ballplayer now and not a football player. But does anyone really expect that to last? And it’s not like the Pats are actually counting on this person to play quarterback, which Tebow struggled with late in his career.

There’s another reason the Patriots haven’t picked up the phone to call Tebow in the last few hours:

A large group of reporters surround Tim Tebow on his first day with the New England Patriots. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

A large group of reporters surround Tim Tebow on his first day with the New England Patriots. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Johnny Manziel

If the Tebow Circus isn’t worth it, neither is the one Manziel would bring.

Mark Sanchez

Just kidding…

Let’s Have Too Much Fun

Scott Zolak

More likely than Sanchez, but then who would provide color on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s game broadcasts? But we know for sure he can throw a mean Frisbee:

Chris Simms

If signed, Bill Belichick should let Tom Brady be the one to break it to Simms that he’s been cut come Week 5. “You’ll never be a Top 100 quarterback in the league, you putz. Here’s that signed football you’ve been begging me for, kid.”


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