The New England Patriots are leaving non stone unturned this offseason when it comes to finding a long-term solution at the quarterback position, or at least putting themselves in a favorable spot heading into the new season. This process included re-signing incumbent starter Cam Newton to a one-year contract before the start of free agency, and apparently also reaching out to veteran QB Alex Smith.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bishop, the Patriots were among a number of teams getting in touch with the since-retired Smith:
… Jacksonville offered a contract, though Jags GM Trent Baalke wanted Smith to sign a special waiver for his leg and suggested any team would request the same. The Texans wanted him too, but their quarterback situation remains in flux. Smith also heard from the Patriots, Eagles and Colts. But everyone had questions, conditions. He realized that only one path remained to leave football on his terms.
A former first-overall draft pick who spent time with the San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs and, most recently, Washington Football Team during his 16-year career in the NFL, Smith would not have been a long-term answer at quarterback. However, the 36-year-old might have been seen as a potential mentor-type passer for a younger player — either a draft pick or third-year backup Jarrett Stidham.
How serious the Patriots’ interest was is not known at this time, though, and there is a chance they simply did their due diligence by getting in touch with him.