Having the third overall pick in the draft isn't going to stop the New England Patriots from looking outside the organization for a quarterback. Per the Boston Herald, Baker Mayfield has supporters within the Patriots organization as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback is set to hit free agency this month.

While Mayfield is one of the Patriots' targets, New England hasn't shown interest in Vikings QB Kirk Cousins -- who is also a free agent.  

Given who the offensive members of the Patriots coaching staff are, it shouldn't be a surprise. Alex Van Pelt was Mayfield's offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns for two years and coached him to his best season in 2020 (prior to his comeback season in 2023). Quarterbacks coach T.C. McCartney was an offensive assistant coach with the Browns and worked closely with the quarterbacks in the 2020 and 2021 season, the same time Mayfield was there. 

Ben McAdoo, a senior offensive assistant in New England, was the offensive coordinator with the Carolina Panthers in 2022 in the brief time Mayfield was the quarterback. There's plenty of connections on the Patriots offensive coaching staff that could warrant a reunion with Mayfield. 

How does that affect the Patriots' plans for the No. 3 overall pick? New England did meet with Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Jayden Daniels at the NFL Scouting Combine this week -- the three top quarterbacks expected to be taken off the board. Mayfield could be the bridge quarterback to get the future franchise quarterback ready, or the Patriots can just pay Mayfield a high salary if they feel they can't get the quarterback they want at No. 3 overall. 

Based on Mayfield's 2023 season, he should be a starting quarterback somewhere. Mayfield completed 64.3% of his passes for 4,044 yards with 28 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions and a 94.6 passer rating, leading Tampa Bay to the divisional round of the NFC playoffs. His 87.9 passer rating when pressured was third in the NFL and his 36.6% completion rate in tight windows was second in the league.