Despite some competition, the next starting quarterback of the New England Patriots is Jarrett Stidham’s job to lose this season.
Considering the way the cookie has crumbled for the New England Patriots during the offseason, it appears that the starting quarterback job of the team is going to be second-year signal caller Jarrett Stidham’s to lose.
After the departure of franchise quarterback Tom Brady, the Patriots currently have four quarterbacks on their roster now: Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer, J’mar Smith, and Brian Lewerke. Stidham is the only one of the bunch that the Patriots have invested any capital in (2019 fourth-round pick).
Replacing the quarterback position is something that the Patriots haven’t really had to worry about dating back to the start of the Robert Kraft ownership in New England circa 1994.
Think about it: The Patriots were already invested in Drew Bledsoe being their franchise quarterback when Brady fell into their laps as a sixth round draftee backup QB.
And when Bledsoe went down, Brady stepped up and obviously proved he was capable of being the starting quarterback.
The picture I’m trying to paint here is that there has never really been any urgency for the Patriots to need to look for a quarterback during Kraft’s ownership.
Seeing as this process is somewhat new to the Patriots, they signed two undrafted rookie free agent quarterbacks — Lewerke and Smith — to add some competition to the quarterback room of Stidham and Hoyer, but it also gives the Patriots time to evaluate other quarterbacks for the first time in a while.
Although New England has recently drafted other quarterbacks — Jimmy Garropolo (2014) and Jacoby Brissett (2016) — it’s different this time because Brady was still on the team back then and there was no questioning who the starting quarterback was going to be.
The Patriots have been watching the teams around them use different quarterbacks for the last 20 years.
Since 2000, there have been 51 different starting quarterbacks among the Patriots’ division rivals in the AFC East: 11 for the Jets, 19 for the Dolphins, and 21 for the Bills. While it’s not uncommon for there to be multiple quarterbacks used in a season, it’s just not what the Patriots are accustomed to.
Although there is a strong chance that New England carries a third quarterback on their roster during the season, the two undrafted free agent signings are more or less just to add competition and pressure on Stidham. Hopefully, they’ll make the former Auburn Tiger work harder to be the best possible quarterback that he can be for the New England Patriots.
It’s also worth noting that Brian Hoyer is in his third stint with the Patriots and has a firm understanding of how the offense is supposed to be run. He is going to be important to Stidham’s progression as well because he now has the most experience with the playbook.
Additionally, as the pandemic continues to have a negative impact on the entire world, it also continues to block the normal offseason progression and development of Stidham as he heads into his second NFL season and his first as potential and presumed starter.
All in all, the New England Patriots would not have used a fourth round draft pick — which is considered to be a prime pick — if they did not see something in Stidham or have him in their future plans.
They could have used that fourth-round pick on a skill position player to equip Brady with in what turned out to be his final year as a Patriot … and they chose not to in order to draft Stidham.
The Jarrett Stidham era is upon us as the New England Patriots embark on a new chapter in their franchise history.