The New England Patriots currently have two quarterbacks in their depth chart—presumed starter Jarrett Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer possibly as backup. The team added two more signal callers, signing undrafted free agents J’Mar Smith of Louisiana Tech and Brian Lewerke of Michigan State. It was floated earlier that the Patriots could take a look at free agent signal caller Cam Newton, who was released by the Carolina Panthers after signing Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year contract worth in excess of $60 million. However, it was reported by Mike Giardi of NFL Network that there’s nothing cooking between the Patriots and Newton, the 2015 NFL MVP who led the Panthers to Super Bowl 50 where they lost to the Denver Broncos.

Now, reports have it that the Patriots could sign veteran quarterback Andy Dalton, who was recently released by the Cincinnati Bengals after drafting Joe Burrow as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Patriots are counting on Stidham as starter after Tom Brady signed a two-year deal worth $50 million with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after 20 years in New England.

Two issues surrounding Dalton

Amid rumors of a possible signing, former Patriots executive Mike Lombardi said he expects New England to do due diligence before making a move, if ever, on Dalton, who was the Bengals’ starting signal-caller for nine years before he was released. In an interview with the New England Sports Network’s “After Hours”, Lombardi said there are two issues that the Patriots should look into – Dalton as a player and his contract.

“They are going to due their due diligence and find out what he is looking for in terms of financially,” said Lombardi, per a report by Sean T. McGuire of NESN. He said that the Patriots should consider if Dalton is better than either Stidham or Hoyer and if he is worth paying around $15 million to $16 million a season. Lombardi is convinced that Dalton is not even an above-average starter so he can’t demand a high-value contract.

“Is he in the top 15 of the NFL? No. At $15, $16, $17 million, you really can’t pay that,” Lombardi stressed. A second-round pick by the Bengals in 2011, Dalton tallied 31,594 passing yards with 204 touchdowns and 118 interceptions in his nine years with Cincinnati. Lombardi said the Jacksonville Jaguars are a perfect fit for Dalton, who could flourish under Jaguars offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.

When the Bengals took Dalton, Gruden was with Cincinnati. Also, Lombardi said the Jaguars have enough cap room to sign Dalton.

Odds favor Patriots to land Dalton

According to Nick Goss of NBC Sports, the Patriots are favored to land the 32-year-old Dalton, based on betting odds from DraftKings Sportsbook. Goss reported that the Patriots have -125 odds while the Jaguars are +175 to land Dalton. The rest are the following: Pittsburgh Steelers (+500), Washington Redskins (+2500), Atlanta Falcons (+3300), Panthers (+3300), Chicago Bears (+3300), and the Broncos (+3300). Goss said that the Jaguars could use Dalton as backup to Gardner Minshew, who will enter his second year as starter for Jacksonville.