Charlie Weis thinks Patriots could trade up for a top quarterback

If free agent Tom Brady ends up leaving the Patriots, they’re going to need to add significantly at quarterback.

And one of Bill Belichick’s former lieutenants believes they’d make a significant move to do so.

Former offensive coordinator Charlie Weis told Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald that he wouldn’t anticipate Belichick being content to just hand the reins to second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham.

“I personally don’t think it will be Stidham. I think it’ll be a veteran guy [to replace Brady],” Weis said. “But I also wouldn’t put it past Bill to run all the way to the top of the draft, and go get one of the big boys. I wouldn’t put it past him.”

And Weis had a particular big boy in mind, specifically one that’s coming off hip surgery.

“Just when you rule out that he’ll do something like that, that’s when he’ll do it,” said Weis. “All of a sudden Tua is your quarterback.”

Weis said he wasn’t projecting Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to the Patriots based on any inside information, saying it was just his hunch based on knowing the personnel involved. He has a reasonable idea of how Belichick might be thinking, and everyone knows about the close relationship between the Patriots coach and Alabama coach Nick Saban.

The Patriots pick 23rd overall, and they don’t have a second-round pick after sending it to Atlanta for Mohamed Sanu. They could have three third-rounders once compensatory picks are allotted, which gives them some flexibility, but trading into range to get Tagovailoa would be costly.

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