It gets curiouser and curiouser. What possible reason could the Pats have for having the two quarterbacks, Manziel and Bridgewater, in for a visit today. It is very unlikely either will be around come Patriots pick at #29.
Let's consider the possibilities.
- Even Belichicks harshest critics recognize he is always thinking ahead by one, two, even three years. Tom Brady is signed through 2017 and a viable replacement will be needed before then. It is likely that Ryan Mallet, the Pat's only other quarterback, and he is only signed through 2014, will seek free agency next year to get a chance to start somewhere. The Pat's will likely draft a QB late in the draft this year or sign one as a free agent after the draft, and as mentioned above, it is almost certain that Manziel and Bridgewater will be drafted early in the first round by others this year. However, one of them could become available later toward the end of Brady's career, and these visits will provide Belichick with useful information to allow him to act on in the future. This scenario makes the most sense to me.
- A second scenario is either or both Manziel and Bridgewater slip in the draft and become within range for a Pat's trade up to take one of them this year. Bridgewater has already slipped in the minds of some due to a lackluster pro day. Manziel put on a very good football performance at his pro day but his presentation was accompanied with a disc jockey and blaring music, replete with questionable clothing and celebrity visitors which apparently raised red flags with the Minnesota Vikings and their head coach, Mike Zimmerman. This is a low probability scenario but the Pat's always have contingency plans just in case of surprises.
Two additional, but less serious possibilities come to mind.
- Belichick and Bob Kraft like to hang out with celebrity stars, and Manziel already fits that role. Bill did invite then celebrity Tim Tebow in for a visit before the 2010 draft and later signed him for a preseason look in 2013. Kraft and Belichick work with a huge celebrity now in Tom Brady. Belichick and Jon Bon Jovi are friends and Bob Kraft and his actress friend Nicki spend time with Bono and his actress daughter are recent examples of their affinity to accompany celebrities.
- Belichick is burning two of his allotted 30 pre-draft visits just to mess with everyone's head.
It seems the first possibility above, simply gathering information for possible long term future action, is the most plausible. But the second scenario of one or both quarterbacks slipping down within range of a Patriots move would be cause for celebration on May 8th.