The New England Patriots were linked to numerous veteran signal callers ever since Tom Brady decided to leave the team in free agency to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — whether they be named Andy Dalton, Jameis Winston or Cam Newton. Only Newton remains available out of the three at this point in time, but the Patriots have not shown any interest in pursuing the former league MVP.
They did, however, express at least some level of interest in one other veteran passer according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports: New England gave Andy Dalton a call after his release from the Cincinnati Bengals following last month’s draft (h/t RJ Ochoa of Blogging The Boys):
You had the Bears... who I think would have traded for Andy Dalton had they not acquired Nick Foles. Like I think Andy Dalton was their guy. And then you had the Jets, absolutely came after him. The Jaguars I think were upset. I think the Jaguars were pissed that they didn’t land him. Like I think they really thought they were going to land him. And the Patriots. The Patriots made a call. I think what happened with the Patriots was, they don’t have any money. Patriots have no money. They’re up against it. They have to maneuver just to get their entire draft class signed. There’s more dead money there for New England than you think.
How serious New England’s interest in Dalton actually was can be questioned, but at the end of the day we know this: the Patriots apparently were not willing or able to match the one-year, $7 million deal he eventually ended up signing with the Dallas Cowboys two days after his release. As a result, the team’s depth chart still consists of Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer at the top, with undrafted rookies J’Mar Smith and Brian Lewerke fighting for the spots behind them.