Patriots

NFL Rumors: Patriots reportedly showing interest in free agent quarterback Marcus Mariota

NFL Rumors: Patriots reportedly showing interest in free agent quarterback Marcus Mariota

The New England Patriots are facing uncertainty at quarterback this offseason. Tom Brady will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason for the first time in his career and it seems possible that he will leave New England. In fact, one ESPN reporter even said that he'd be "stunned" if Brady returns to the Patriots.

So, the Pats may find themselves looking for a new starting QB. Luckily for them, they may be looking at one of the best free-agent quarterback classes ever, so they should have a chance to add a talented player if Brady walks.

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And it appears that they are at least looking into one of the other passers on the market.

Per Pro Football Network's Tony Pauline, the Patriots are showing interest in free-agent quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Keep this in the back of your mind – with all the uncertainty surrounding Tom Brady, the New England Patriots are showing interest in soon to be free agent quarterback Marcus Mariota. The former first-round pick is being courted by several teams who may have an open competition at quarterback.

Mariota was selected No. 2 overall by the Tennessee Titans in the 2015 draft. Though he started his career off well, he plateaued after leading the team to the playoffs in 2017. His TD-INT ratio dropped from 45-to-19 in his first two seasons to 31-to-25 over the course of the next three. And after a 2-4 start to the 2019 season, in which the Titans offense just averaged 14 points per game, he was replaced by Ryan Tannehill and didn't start again.

Still, Mariota has upside. He's only 26 and if he can shake the nagging elbow injury that has plagued him the past couple of years, perhaps he'll return to the form he demonstrated earlier in his career.

While Mariota could be a sensible option for the Patriots, as our own Phil Perry noted in a recent piece, they may have competition if they do try to sign him. Pauline noted that the Colts have an interest in Mariota.

Ex-Patriots exec Scott Pioli tells great Tom Brady story from Super Bowl LI

Ex-Patriots exec Scott Pioli tells great Tom Brady story from Super Bowl LI

Scott Pioli has experienced the incredible joys of winning a Super Bowl and the frustration of losing a Super Bowl thanks to Tom Brady.

Pioli was a front office executive with the New England Patriots from 2000 until he left to join the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009. The Patriots won three Super Bowl titles in four appearances in Pioli's time in Foxboro, and he helped build the rosters that were so successful over that period.

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He also was an assistant general manager for the Atlanta Falcons from 2014 to 2019, and it was during this time he witnessed the best game of Brady's career. Unfortunately for the longtime NFL exec, it happened against his Falcons. We're of course talking about Super Bowl LI, where the Patriots miraculously pulled of a 34-28 comeback win in overtime after trailing 28-3 late in the third quarter.

Pioli made an appearance on WEEI's "Dale & Keefe" midday show Tuesday, and he told a great story about how high-ranking scouts and front office people from the Falcons were feeling quite confident at halftime with Atlanta leading, 21-3. Pioli, based on his many years watching and working with Brady, knew better than to celebrate too early. And he wasn't shy about letting his coworkers know that. 

Listen to his Brady story in the video below:

The joy on the Falcons sideline quickly evaporated as Brady led the Patriots on five consecutive scoring drives in arguably the greatest performance in Super Bowl history. The Falcons have yet to recover from this heartbreaking loss. After losing in the NFC Divisional Round the following the season, Atlanta has missed the playoffs in back-to-back years. 

The Falcons scouts, execs and other employees who celebrated early got a painful reminder that, unless time has run out, you cannot let up at all when Brady is on the opposing team.

Tom Brady is still TB12: Chris Godwin cedes jersey number to Bucs QB

Tom Brady is still TB12: Chris Godwin cedes jersey number to Bucs QB

The TB12 brand is staying intact.

Former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will keep No. 12 with the Buccaneers after signing with Tampa Bay in free agency, the team confirmed Tuesday.

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That means Bucs star wide receiver Chris Godwin is deferring to Brady, switching to No. 14 after wearing No. 12 in his first three seasons.

Godwin said recently he'd "definitely" keep No. 12 if Brady didn't want the number, but the six-time Super Bowl champion apparently wants to keep the digits he wore for 20 years in New England.

We'd imagine Brady cut some sort of deal with Godwin to land No. 12 -- the wide receiver's Twitter account is @CGtwelve_, after all -- but it sounds like the two worked something out.

The result: Patriots fans will need to get used to the strange sight of Brady wearing No. 12 for a new team in 2020.