New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, MA - JULY 29, 2021: Mac Jones #50 and Brian Hoyer #5 of the New England Patriots pass the ball during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Cam Newton‘s release has implications beyond the Patriots’ starting quarterback job (although that is the main focus). Newton’s departure also has the potential to fundamentally change the way the team constructs their Week 1 roster.

The age of COVID has led NFL teams to expand their depth at the quarterback position, often carrying three players at the spot instead of the typical two. If the Patriots plan on sticking to that form, they’ll need to add another arm, at least for the beginning of the season until Jarrett Stidham returns from back surgery.

If the Patriots do want to fill that third quarterback spot, who might the Patriots target? Here’s some realistic options they could consider in the coming days.

None of these quarterbacks are better than Cam Newton (or relatively close), but that’s not the point here. If they do elect to carry a third quarterback (who could also be kept on the practice squad due to the new practice squad rules), the idea is to find a cheap option who either through familiarity of the system or just veteran experience, can be ready to fill in at a moment’s notice.

MORE: Roster cut tracker

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.