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On Wednesday afternoon, two teams made a trade centered around a quarterback. Neither of the teams are the Patriots, but the deal still has a tremendous effect on New England’s draft outlook. It’s an event that has become somewhat of a regular occurrence leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft.

In the latest such move, the Carolina Panthers sent Teddy Bridgewater to the Denver Broncos in exchange for a sixth-round pick. This comes just a few weeks after the Panthers acquired Sam Darnold from the New York Jets.

The impact made on the Patriots’ quarterback plans is two-fold. In the draft, it potentially removes the only other quarterback-needy team between the fifth overall pick and the Patriots at 15. Denver holds the ninth pick, but now has Bridgewater joining 2019 second-round pick Drew Lock on the roster. If they’re content with that group, it means the Patriots have one less team to jump for a QB, and the best individual chip (the 15th pick) at the negotiating table.

Secondly, the Bridgewater trade all but eliminates any leverage the San Francisco 49ers would have in a potential Jimmy Garoppolo trade. Entering Wednesday only two teams had the cap space to absorb Garoppolo’s $26.3 million cap hit. One of those was Denver, which leaves the Jacksonville Jaguars – who are just over 24 hours away from being set at QB – as the only other financial suitor.

More: Patriots Mock Draft 3.0

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.