Is it possible that Drew Bledsoe could still be wearing red white and blue next season?
It certainly appears that way.
If that’s the case Bill Belichick will end up game-planning for Bledsoe twice a year just like he did before he came to New England and unseated the Patriots franchise quarterback in favor of Superbowl MVP Tom Brady.
All signs are beginning to point to a possible trade with the Buffalo Bills for Bledsoe, and despite the question of whether or not the Patriots would even consider trading him within the division, it appears that it’s becoming a strong possibility.
The Bills decided to cut their losses with the oft-injured Rob Johnson and are now reportedly looking at Jeff Blake, Jonathan Quinn, and Chris Chandler as possible alternatives along with Bledsoe. Bills President Tom Donahoe will likely look at all his options, but Bledsoe has to be looking pretty attractive considering his alternatives.
The fans in Buffalo are still pretty frustrated with the team after the fiasco with Doug Flutie and then watching Johnson go down with a broken collarbone against the Patriots last season. Following their 3-13 campaign, Donahoe is going to need to make a move to start putting the Bills in position to become a long-term contender. Bringing in the well-traveled Blake and beaten up 15-year veteran Chris Chandler doesn’t exactly bode well for a team that is likely looking for some stability at a position that hasn’t exactly been one of their strong points.
At 30-years old Bledsoe will likely stabilize the quarterback spot for at least five or six seasons, and with his injury history fans won’t have to worry about who his back-up is. He also immediately brings credibility to a team that is desperately looking to climb back into the NFL’s elite.
Donahoe now finds himself with a difficult decision, but he may have to seriously consider if looking for the likes of yet another recycled quarterback in Chandler and Blake is a move that he’s willing to make. As for Quinn he has shown that he has a lot of promise, but has yet to really prove he can thrive as a full-time starter. All three could provide the team with a “quick fix”, but Donahoe certainly has to know that none of them are in the same category as Bledsoe. Whether or not he’s ready to make the necessary sacrifice to give Belichick enough of a reason to send him to a division rival is another story.
For now, the rumors will continue to swirl, but in the meantime, Donahoe will need to strongly consider where he wants to entrust the future of his football team. Wherever Bledsoe goes he will do it with the fire of a man who has something to prove, and this may be an opportunity that Donahoe may not want to let get by him.
After a 3-13 season, it’s time for him to get serious. Losing in Buffalo is not something that Bills’ fans take lightly, and you can bet he’ll be thinking about it long and hard until draft day.
Posted Under: 2002 Patriots Offseason