Patriots

Bedard: Retirement by Rivers, likely followed by Brees, adds even more QB competition for Patriots

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Philip Rivers announced his retirement. Amazingly (and stupidly, depending on your opinion) I did not anticipate that earlier this month when I raised the alarm that the Patriots could be competing for 16 teams for a quarterback this offseason.

You can make it 17 teams now.

Drew Brees is likely to be next, although the Saints were on my list because there were whispers around the league that this would be it — probably a year too late.

(By the way, Brees really kind of screwed the Saints and Sean Payton by returning in 2020. If Brees, who didn't make it through the season physically at age 41, retired this past offseason — and there were some rumblings Payton was hoping for that — then the Saints would have been a strong contender for Tom Brady's services. Some in Brady's camp were rooting for that and preferred Payton and the Saints to the Bucs and Bruce Arians. Not hard to imagine the Saints easily besting the Bucs with the QB advantage on Sunday.)

And some of the general manager and coaching dominoes that needed to fall to get a sense of whether some veterans would be available had also tumbled — and the mess in Houston seems to only get worse. So let's give you an updated list on the QB competition for the Patriots:

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