What are we kicking around in our virtual newsroom these days? The digital editors at NBCSportsBoston.com will compile the best from the daily e-mail exchanges amongst our on-air personalities, insiders and producers from both “Arbella Early Edition” and “Boston Sports Tonight” so you can get a sense of what’s on our minds.
Jeff Capotosto, Producer, "Arbella Early Edition" (8:41 a.m. ET) -- The Pats appear to be going with Jarrett Stidham. I was watching the "Lombardi Line" yesterday morning (not quite "Tiger King," I know) and Mike Lombardi said Stidham would have been a Top 10 pick if he stayed at Baylor and is more talented than a lot of QBs drafted in the first round over the last few years. We all know Belichick and Lombardi are tight and Lombardi is sometimes used to get a message out. But what is Lombardi’s goal here? Simply to hype up Stidham? Drive the price down on Cam Newton or another free agent? Make people think the Pats won't draft a QB in first round?
Mel Kiper still has the Patriots drafting Jordan Love in his latest mock draft. Should the Pats draft a QB in Round 1? Also Peter King believes they should give serious thought to signing Cam Newton.
Adam Hart, Manager, Creative Content (9:11 a.m. ET) -- Add into your Lombardi equation is that his son is the assistant to the quarterbacks coach and probably wants to puff up his resume as the guy who worked with Stidham last year.
All those years they had Logan Mankins and paid him well, never won a Super Bowl. That’s why on the surface I’d say see ya to Joe Thuney. But one year of big money for Thuney could help two transitions: from o-line legend Scarnecchia to the next guy and from Brady to Stidham. I’d be fine paying that if it means Stidham survives the year.
Trenni Kusnierek, host, "Arbella Early Edition" (9:47 a.m. ET) -- I guess the question I would have is: will they try to win now with Stidham or rebuild around him? If it’s the latter, why not trade Thuney and Gilmore? Unless our football guys think Thuney will be an anchor on the line for years to come. That would be my one hesitation. If you put a young, inexperienced QB behind a sub-par O-line he may never get the chance to really develop.
Gary Tanguay, host, "Arbella Early Edition" (10:00 a.m. ET) -- Stidham could be the best QB in the AFC East because of coaching. Do not trade Thuney.
Tom E. Curran, Patriots Insider (10:02 a.m. ET) -- What if Stidham can't get the Year 1/Year 2 bump because of the virtual lockdown? He's going to miss OTAs, minicamp, working with teammates. This is a underrated blow to his development. If Hoyer is the starter, is that a bad sign for Stidham? Not necessarily. Save him from being humiliated/set up to fail. Let Hoyer take the bullets. Are people ready for this? Is Bill ready for this? This could be a significant dropoff from the annual 12-13 win seasons to a 5-8 win season. There's no ulterior motive for pumping up Stidham, in my opinion. As was said going into last year's draft (and coming out), he had the most "arm talent" in the group.
Anyone still talking about Cam Newton, I don't get it. Were you asleep for 20 years? They just did what they did with the 199th overall pick, developed a Div. II second-rounder into a very good starter ... they don't want no "name" quarterbacks. They want no names.
Phil Perry, Patriots Insider (10:16 a.m. ET) -- I wrote about Lombardi's love for Stidham a week or two ago. He called him "their future" on his podcast. He's still close to BB, obviously, but I think the bigger connection is his son is the assistant QBs coach. Mick Lombardi spent all last year with Stidham in the Jerry Schuplinski role. (JS used to be attached at the hip with Garoppolo, Brissett. Young guys took Pats Offense 101 as rookies, while Brady did his thing. Stidham and Kessler did the same thing last year.) Maybe Lombardi is trying to pump up Stidham to throw people off the scent of Pats taking Jordan Love in the first round or something? Like Adam's thought of Lombardi trying to help pump up Mick's resume. If it works out, great for Mick. If it doesn't, no one's looking at Mick as the reason why. I also don't think it's beyond Lombardi to just try to get out ahead of this and make himself look good if it works out. "Bill knew the kid was good and so did I. No one believed, but I did! Love you, Bill!"
I've talked to a number of people in scouting who love Stidham's arm/athleticism. There's a chance he's good. There's a chance he isn't. Using him as the starter isn't a guarantee that they're "Tanking for Trevor." If it works out, great. If it doesn't, then you're in range to go get Lawrence (or Justin Fields, who I think is better).
Michael Holley, host, Boston Sports Tonight (12:30 p.m. ET) -- I think the Patriots are at the point, with their collective age, that they shouldn’t draft for need. Why do I say that? As I look at their roster, I think they have one, maybe two, unquestionably great players: Gilmore and Thuney. I guess you could add Slater, but you know what I mean. Gilmore is 30, and even the great corners start to slip at 31, 32. They need that first-round pick to be an awesome player, not necessarily a “system fit” or “fills the gaping hole here ...” Nah. Give me the highest rated guy on your board -- unless it’s a running back -- which I don’t want to pick there.
Tom Giles, host, "Boston Sports Tonight" (2:11 p.m ET) -- I don't have a problem with drafting best talent available considering their entire roster needs an injection of youth. I wouldn't mind if they loaded up defensively, especially with this shortened off-season. Integrating new offensive players will be far more difficult than integrating new defensive pieces.