Are the Patriots planning on bringing in a backup QB after releasing Kevin O'Connell this week? An NFL insider says don't be surprised.
The New England Patriots parted ways with two of their three backups to Tom Brady when they released OConnell and Andrew Walter this week. Confidence in their last backup is uncertain, but appears enough to keep him around. As talented as Brian Hoyer may be, having just an undrafted rookie as the teams primary backup may be tempting fate.
New England is reportedly in the market for another veteran backup. Some of the names on the list include Cleo Lemon, Brooks Bollinger (now signed), Damon Huard or one of the players currently on another roster -- namely A.J. Feely.
Once the team released Walter -- leaving Hoyer as the only backup behind BRady -- Patriots head coach Bill Belichck refused to rule out acquiring a veteran for depth at the position. .
Well have to wait and see what our different options are, Belichick said in a conference call Friday. Well just evaluate it on a case-by-case basis as to how we feel the best makeup of our roster this year will be.
Speculation in Philadelphia led to a report that the Patriots could possibly exchange an extra tight end for Feeley if they really wanted him. New England may decide to do just that after carrying four TE's on the roster. Alex Smith was the name mentioned, but it could be one of the Patriots other tight ends, David Thomas or former first round pick Ben Watson according to one source. The former first round pick has struggled to remain healthy and consistent during his tenure in New England.
Belichick wouldnt rule out a deal with the Eagles, but refused to confirm that talks were in progress.
We have conversations with every team in the league this time of year, Belichick said. Thats just part of the communication and thats what time of year it is with personnel.
NFL insiders believe that some of the names on the target list for New England could be, Lemon, Griese and Huard if Feeley isnt available. According to their twitter accounts, both Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Adam Schefter of ESPN report that a trade between the Patriots and the Eagles for a tight end will not happen.
Griese is an interesting candidate for the Patriots. Having won a national championship at Michigan (Brady's alma mater), Griese bounced around the league from offensive coordinator to offensive coordinator.. A third round pick of the Denver Broncos in 1999, he had stops in Miami, Tampa Bay, Chicago and Tampa Bay again. The Buccaneers released him earlier this summer after deciding to go another direction with Byron Leftwich or Luke McCown. Some NFL experts belive Griese can still be a viable backup.
Patriots Insider confirmed that the Patriots have spoken with Griese's representatives. It is unclear how those talks went, but indications are that there is some interest from both sides.
Griese's agent Ralph Cindrich told Patriots Insider teams remain interested in the talented quarterback.
"Brian has had more than a couple of offers to play this year and it didnt work out for one reason or another," Cindrich wrote via email. "There is still an interest on his part with one or two of those teams."
Could Brady and Griese be reunited?
It's possible. Though more signs point to a different solution (aka a different backup), Griese would give the Patriots veteran stability behind Brady while Brian Hoyer learns the ropes.
Cindrich says that Griese has offers to play, It comes down to It comes down to whether he wants to play for a particular team for a particular amount of money, said Cindrich. He is different from most when it comes to that.
While the Patriots continue their search, one name to keep in mind is Griese. He fits the mold of an experienced veteran who others have written off.
Hot Topic: Who Will Backup Brady?