The New England Patriots have been the most active team in the NFL through the early stages of free agency, as Bill Belichick has signed important pieces on both sides of the ball. The Patriots also re-signed quarterback Cam Newton for the 2021 season, but does that necessarily mean he's locked in as the starter moving forward?
During a recent episode of NFL Network's "Move the Sticks" podcast, analysts Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah reported that the Patriots have been doing their due diligence on quarterbacks available in the 2021 NFL Draft, and that there is one they are particularly high on.
"I keep an eye on somebody like Trey Lance or Justin Fields," said Jeremiah. "Those are the two that would make sense for them to target. Hear a lot of rumors out there that they are really high on Justin Fields out of Ohio State. So, they'd have to (trade up) quite a ways to get Justin Fields."
While analysts will continue to argue where Fields will go come next month's draft, almost everyone can agree he's a top 10 pick. All four of our CBS NFL Draft writers currently have Fields being selected in the top eight. With the Patriots' first-round pick coming at No. 15 overall, that means New England would likely have to trade up somewhere in the top 10 for Fields.
The Georgia transfer completed 70.2 percent of his passes for 2,100 yards, 22 touchdowns and six interceptions in the COVID-shortened season for the Buckeyes. In 2019, Fields passed for 3,273 yards, 41 touchdowns and just three interceptions in his first season at Ohio State. Fields was a Heisman finalist in 2019, and then led Ohio State to the National Championship game this past season, where they fell to Alabama.
Fields is an intriguing prospect, and would be a welcomed addition to the Patriots after Newton recorded his worst season in 2020. In 15 games, he threw for 2,657 yards, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions.