The New England Patriots are expected to acquire a quarterback this offseason, either through the 2018 NFL Draft or the free agent market. The Patriots are looking for a backup signal-caller who could eventually take over the reins once Tom Brady retires. Last offseason, the Patriots had two backup quarterbacks on their roster – Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett. However, the Patriots shipped Brissett to the Indianapolis Colts before the start of the regular season and traded Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers before the trade deadline. Now, the Patriots only have veteran Brian Hoyer as a backup, but he’s not included in the team’s long-term plans.

Kirk Minihane of reported that the Patriots have made a contract offer to free agent quarterback Aj Mccarron, a four-year backup to Andy Dalton with the Cincinnati Bengals. McCarron looked like an ideal option for the Patriots despite his inexperience as a starter. In four years with the Bengals, he appeared in just 11 games. Minihane did not provide any details about the Patriots’ offer to McCarron, who is also being eyed by the Buffalo Bills. However, Jim McBride of the Boston Globe reported that the Patriots did not offer McCarron a contract. According to McBride’s sources, the story is completely false, as the Patriots did not contact McCarron.

Burkhead stays with Patriots

After losing their primary running back Dion Lewis to the Tennessee Titans, the Patriots signed their other rusher, Rex Burkhead, and he will remain in New England.

According to McBride, Burkhead signed a multi-year deal with the Patriots before he hit the free agent market. Burkhead suffered multiple injuries last season, but he was productive in his 10 games with the Patriots. Burkhead carried the ball 64 times for 264 yards and five touchdowns and added 30 catches for 254 yards and three touchdowns.

With Burkhead’s signing, the Patriots now have four rushers on their roster, including Mike Gillislee, James White and Brandon Bolden. Earlier, Lewis agreed to a four-year deal with the Tennessee Titans with a maximum value of $23 million, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. The contract includes $11.5 million in guaranteed money, per Josina Anderson of ESPN.

Patriots lose Nate Solder to Giants

The Patriots also lost offensive tackle Nate Solder in the free agent market as he is expected to sign with the New York Giants. According to Schefter, Solder will sign a four-year deal worth $60 million, making him the highest paid left tackle in the league. Solder was the Patriots’ top offseason priority, but with limited salary cap room, the Giants beat them to the punch. Solder was the Patriots’ No. 17 overall pick in 2011.