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Pauline Mailbag: Could the Patriots add a veteran quarterback?

Pauline Mailbag: Could the Patriots add a veteran quarterback?
AP Photo/Rick Osentoski,

Every week I open up the mailbag for anyone to send me their questions on college football, the NFL, or the NFL Draft. Although the 2020 NFL Draft has concluded and the NFL is now in a dead period, there are still plenty of topics to discuss. This week’s mailbag includes the latest on free agents signing contracts, Adam Gase’s standing with the New York Jets, the New England Patriots quarterback situation, and more.

If you have a question you want to send me for next week’s mailbag, send it to [email protected] or send a tweet to @PFN365 on Twitter using the hashtag #AskTonyPFN, and we’ll try to include it in an upcoming mailbag column.

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The Tony Pauline Mailbag

Is your feeling that some of the top remaining free agents are close to signing but both sides are waiting to be able to meet in person to finalize everything? Or are other factors influencing it more?

I don’t think the top remaining free agents are close to signing unless they want to come way down in salary. Teams want to see where they are at with draft picks and the fact that many of these guys cannot be brought in for physicals has teams taking a wait and see approach.

If Adam Gase doesn’t have a winning record do you think he gets fired?

If the Jets go 8-8 and most importantly, the offense shows progress, I believe Gase will return. If they have a mid-season flop as they did last year, he could be gone before the season is completed. The key is progress from the offense. The prime reason they won so many games down the stretch last season was defense and field goals, not touchdowns by the offense.

Related | Tony Pauline’s 2020 NFL Draft Evaluations: AFC

What is Gase’s standing in the locker room?

Credible sources have told me there’s good and bad — but there seem to be no extremes. While some guys don’t like Gase, it’s nothing out of the ordinary and there is no mutiny on the horizon. And while some like the head coach, I don’t know of anyone ready to fall on the sword for Gase.

Does Quartney Davis, despite being undrafted, have a legit shot of starting opposite Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen if they start three wideouts? What do you make of the fit?

I don’t see him starting, at least not in the early part of the season. The Vikings have holes at receiver, but they also possess a few players ahead of Davis on the depth chart at the moment.

Any outside chance New England adds more people, ideally a proven starter, to their quarterback room?

They may add a few pieces, but I have not heard anything is imminent. As for the quarterback situation, I expect they will let Stidham play during the preseason before making a decision on whether to add a veteran.

Related | Tony Pauline’s 2020 NFL Draft Evaluations: NFC

Is Clowney even remotely close to signing? Or is he just waiting it out until he can take physicals with teams?

From everything I’ve heard, nothing is imminent. There are a lot of moving pieces. We’ve been ahead of the curve on the Clowney story and at this point, I don’t think he’s waiting it out; rather his options are diminishing from where they were two months ago. Much has to do with the current public health crisis. But as I’ve reported, it also has to do with Clowney being his own worst enemy — and that comes from people close to him. Unless a deal is agreed upon that’s heavily tilted in favor of the team, I doubt Clowney signs any time soon.

Tony Pauline is Pro Football Network’s Chief Draft Analyst and Insider. Follow him on Twitter @TonyPauline. Follow PFN on Twitter @PFN365

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