If you're an NFL general manager even thinking about trading your quarterback, chances are you've heard from Bill Belichick this offseason.
That's according to The Athletic's Jeff Howe, who reported Monday that the New England Patriots "have had conversations regarding every potential trade target in the league" at the QB position.
"If a quarterback has been perceived to be available, the Patriots have picked up the phone," Howe wrote.
It's been reported that the Patriots had interest in both Matthew Stafford and Carson Wentz, but Howe adds they weren't "serious contenders" because they weren't willing to meet either asking price. (Stafford went for two first-round picks, a third round pick and Jared Goff, while Wentz went for a third-round pick and a second-rounder that could become a first.)
But the Patriots are still in the mix for trade targets Deshaun Watson, Jimmy Garoppolo, Marcus Mariota and Sam Darnold, and it sounds like they'll inquire about any other QB that becomes available.
Simply put, New England is considering literally every quarterback option for 2021 -- including bringing back Cam Newton, which Howe reports the Patriots "haven't ruled out."
The question will be what Belichick and his staff are willing to pay for a QB. New England has more than $60 million in cap space this offseason but also has several other holes on its roster. So, should the Patriots target a talented QB with a big cap hit but have less money remaining to surround him with weapons, or look to add a signal-caller on a bargain so they have more money to spend on his supporting cast?
New England appears to be trying to thread the needle by holding out for better value on the QB trade market. But the Patriots also have incentive to bring in a quarterback early in the free-agent process, so it will be interesting to see if they budge in the coming weeks.