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Report: Patriots Have "Real Interest" In Veteran QB Trade

A closeup of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick during a game.

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 21: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on in the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on October 21, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

If Tom Brady does end up leaving New England in free agency, the Patriots are going to have to act quickly to find his replacement. There is no logical in-house man for the job at this point. Jarrett Stidham does not appear to be ready to start.

Luckily for Bill Belichick and Co., there are several viable candidates for the position. Multiple starting quarterbacks are hitting free agency. The trade market is expected to be robust, too.

A trade might be the most-likely outcome at this point. And the Cincinnati Bengals could be on the receiving end of that trade.

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has consistently been mentioned a trade candidate for New England. Cincinnati is reportedly working with Dalton on potential trades, as Joe Burrow is likely to be selected at No. 1 overall.

Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman reported on Wednesday that the Patriots' interest in Dalton is "real."

"Several teams have mentioned to me that the Patriots' reported interest in Dalton is even real. Bill Belichick, like others around the league, believes Dalton has untapped potential and that it's been hard to decipher how truly good or bad he is because he's played in Cincinnati," BR reports.

Dalton has played for the Bengals his entire career, but he'll probably be playing elsewhere in 2020.

Joe Burrow is the future in Cincinnati.

Could Dalton be the future in New England?