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New England Patriots

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 17: Quarterback Marcus Mariota #8 of the Las Vegas Raiders drops back to pass during the NFL game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Allegiant Stadium on December 17, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Chargers defeated the Raiders in overtime 30-27. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Marcus Mariota continues to be one of the free-agent quarterbacks mentioned most often in Patriots rumors. One of the team’s top insiders predicted that he’s headed to Foxboro.

Field Yates of ESPN remains one of the most prominent reporters in the country on the Patriots, so any speculation he publishes is likely well-informed. Even if it’s a bold prediction, a prediction from one of the top national football reporters carries more weight than, say, a random nerd on a radio station website.

So when Yates predicts that Mariota will be the next starting quarterback for the Patriots, it’s hard not to listen. Here’s how Yates explained his own prediction at ESPN.com:

The Patriots are among a group of teams that are too far from the top of the draft order to be a likely landing spot for the top-draft-prospect quarterbacks, meaning we’re examining other veteran options who could be logical fits. While a Cam Newton return isn’t totally ruled out, it’s an unlikely option. The 27-year-old Mariota is under contract for one more year with the Raiders but carries a cap charge of $10.725M, an unlikely tab for them to pay for a backup in a cap-tightened year. … Be it via a trade or cut, Mariota could find a new home this offseason … and the Patriots are a logical fit.

MORE: Who’s left at quarterback for 2021 Patriots?

We’ll be sure to keep you updated with the latest news and rumors regarding quarterback movement in the NFL, especially as it relates to the Patriots. There are still plenty of shoes left to drop. In the meantime, you can hear my thoughts on the offseason along with Alex Barth in the below podcast from 98.5 The Sports Hub.

MORE: Free-Agent Quarterbacks And Trade Options For The 2021 Patriots

Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.