The New England Patriots really don’t have a whole lot to lose by turning their offense over to Jarrett Stidham — and they could have everything to gain.
What do the New England Patriots really have to lose by starting Jarrett Stidham this season?
Obviously, the NFL is a brutal business. It’s a league of “what have you done for me lately?” Just ask poor Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams, who may have deserved Super Bowl MVP as much as (if not more than) Patrick Mahomes this past February.
His reward for a two-touchdown performance in which he paced all Chiefs players with 133 combined yards from scrimmage? Watching Andy Reid and Brett Veach spend their first-round pick on a running back two months later.
If there is a team that can buck this trend, though, it’s the Patriots.
Robert Kraft didn’t interfere (that we know of) in watching Tom Brady walk out the door this spring and sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If that’s not a vote of confidence in head coach/general manager Bill Belichick, I don’t know what is.
The point is that Belichick’s seat is ice-cold. He’s a six-time Super Bowl champion with New England and an eight-time Super Bowl champion coach overall. He’s not going anywhere until he decides he’s ready to leave.
As such, if he believes in Stidham, why shouldn’t we?
Even if Stidham flames out and is absolutely putrid this upcoming season, what harm is that really going to do the Patriots? This franchise isn’t about to sit back and rest on their laurels — not with Belichick in charge — but at the same time, no one’s losing their job if Stidham stinks.
Jarrett Stidham is one of the cheapest starting quarterbacks in the NFL right now
Financially-speaking, Stidham is beginning the second year of a four-season deal worth a little more than $3 million. That means he’s set to make less than $800,000 this year.
That’s certainly a chunk of change to all of us mortals, but to an NFL player? That’s pennies they find under their sofa cushions.
Furthermore, exactly zero dollars are guaranteed in Stidham’s contract. That makes him the epitome of a low-risk project in terms of dollars and cents. It should also allow Belichick greater flexibility to build around him over the next couple seasons if the Patriots are able to get out of their salary cap bind.
If Stidham’s no good? On to the next one, then.
Chances are that if Stidham doesn’t pan out, the Patriots probably won’t this season either — and that would only improve their draft stock heading into next April.
Add it all up, and there’s really nothing to lose for Belichick and the Patriots by seeing what they have in their second-year starter from Auburn this fall.