New England Patriots backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham recently opened up about the influence of Tom Brady on him during his rookie season.
For the first time in 20 years, the New England Patriots could potentially have a new starting quarterback running their offense in 2020. And there’s a decent chance that he’s already on the team, and that his name isn’t Tom Brady.
We’re talking, of course, about Jarrett Stidham.
New England selected Stidham in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft to back up Brady. After having a stellar preseason performance, the rookie saw limited action during the regular season, appearing briefly in three separate games.
Realistically-speaking, if the New England Patriots and Tom Brady can’t reach a contract agreement either prior to or during free agency, then Stidham could very well be the starter next season.
New England has done pretty well in drafting some of their most recent quarterbacks, including Brian Hoyer, Jacoby Brissett, and Jimmy Garoppolo. All of these guys have gone on to have productive careers after being in New England.
Garoppolo could very well be the best of them all already. He sat back and learned from the future Hall of Fame QB when he first came into the league, did well in relief of Brady during the Deflategate suspension, and upped his value enough to earn a trade to San Francisco.
He now has his 49ers in Super Bowl 54.
Stidham knows he was dealt a great hand to start his NFL career in Foxborough under Bill Belichick and backing up Tom Brady. Most rookie quarterbacks dream of being able to learn from one of the best in the game like Brady.
In a recent interview with ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Stidham expressed how grateful and lucky he’s been to have Brady as a mentor and role model.
"“The amount of time he puts into film and just game plan and understanding who we’re playing, and personnel, all these different things that can come up throughout the week. That’s something I obviously have learned from him, and something I’d love to incorporate as much into my game as I possibly could. The list is endless, but that’s probably the No. 1 thing with him.”"
Stidham also went on to gush openly about the excitement and fascination he has for Brady:
"“It’s going to be really cool one day when I can sit there and tell my children, or my grandkids one day, that I got to be in the same quarterback room and talking about coverages and different passing concepts with Tom.”"
The theory of bringing in a starting quarterback through free agency is questionable, seeing as even whether Brady is on the team or not next season, the Patriots are still getting whacked with his $13 million cap hit.
Also, it seems like it’s going to be a tough challenge for the Patriots to bring in a legit free agent quarterback when Robert Kraft has a pretty strict budget in terms of his players’ contracts. He doesn’t want to pay 18 to 20 percent to only one player against the cap, and he’s stated that publicly on numerous occasions now.
If it is in the plans for Stidham to be the quarterback next season, the New England Patriots (and Stidham) are hopeful he can make an extreme leap from his rookie to sophomore season.