UPDATE, April 30: The Bengals are releasing Andy Dalton. The odds below shouldn’t change much, but it’s notable news.
The New England Patriots surprised a lot of people this past weekend when they elected to not select a quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft. A month removed from losing Tom Brady to free agency, the Patriots entered the draft with as quarterback depth chart that included Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer. Following the draft, the team signed a pair of undrafted free agents to round out the depth chart: Louisiana Tech quarterback J’Mar Smith and Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke.
Prior to the draft, Stidham had the best odds to claim New England’s Week 1 starting job. DraftKings Sportsbook had him listed at -305 on Thursday morning, followed by Cam Newton (+800), Brian Hoyer (+1000), and Andy Dalton (+1600). The odds included several rookies, with Jordan Love leading the way at +2500, Jake Fromm, Justin Herbert, and Tua Tagovailoa at +3300, and Jacob Eason and Jalen Hurts at +5000.
Following the draft, the top three remain the same, with Newton improved to +500 and Hoyer to +900. Jacoby Brissett has been added with the Colts decided to draft Jacob Eason, and Andy Dalton has slipped to +2500. UDFA addition Brian Lewerke is listed at +10000.
There have been plenty of postmortems following the draft, and the Patriots quarterback situation figures prominently. Both national reporter Peter King and team beat writer Jeff Howe talked about how much the team likes Stidham. King raised a good point about how rather than sign Dalton (once he’s released) to be a short-term bridge, the team could simply send out Stidham and Hoyer and see what they each can do. If things go south, you know you need to address the quarterback position next year.
There is a long way to go before training camp, even if it starts on time. There’s still a chance Newton or Dalton ends up on the Patriots roster, but given what those in the know are saying, it seems likely the Patriots stick with what they’ve got. They remain favorites in the AFC East, but a shaky option at quarterback will leave them with a big question heading into training camp.