Patriots.com editor thinks team should go with Jarrett Stidham as starter
By Jerry Trotta
The New England Patriots will be at the center of the spotlight this offseason as they to upgrade their roster in a major way.
In unsurprising fashion, most of the chatter thus far has revolved around their ongoing search for a quarterback.
While some light has been shed on their supposed plans, most rumors have contradicted each other, which indicates that de facto general manager Bill Belichick is hard at work as far as throwing teams off the scent of his real plans.
It’s also plausible to assume that Belichick, given his surplus of options to choose from (not that all of them would be home run additions), honestly has no idea who will end up quarterbacking his team come training camp.
If there’s one thing most fans in New England can agree on, it’s that they would prefer not to see third-year pro Jarrett Stidham be promoted from his established backup role.
However, Paul Perillo, the current editor of Patriots.com, actually thinks Stidham should get the nod and he explained why in his latest piece for the team’s official website.
Why are people still advocating or Jarrett Stidham to be the Patriots’ starting quarterback?
Here’s what ultimately prompted Perillo to say starting Stidham under center next season would be in the Patriots’ best interest.
"“But for the Patriots there really aren’t any realistic options that would greatly change their prospects for 2021. Names like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Marcus Mariota, Mitchell Trubisky, Teddy Bridgewater or Cam Newton aren’t going to significantly alter the team’s expectations or chances to contend given the current state of the roster.“Aside from Jimmy Garoppolo, whose familiarity with Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels and the system in general might be enough to squeak the team into the playoffs, none of these options does much to move the needle. Obviously the draft doesn’t promise to find the 2021 starter either with the Patriots sitting 15th in the first round.”"
It’s worth noting that Perillo didn’t dismiss the idea of the Patriots trading for either one of Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson this offseason. He just understands the chances of a deal of that magnitude coming to fruition are slim to none given New England’s prolonged reluctance to deplete themselves of resources.
Anyway, back to Perillo’s analysis. The longtime Patriots editor made some valid points, but we simply cannot get on board with Stidham taking over at quarterback. For starters, either one of Fitzpatrick, Mariota, Bridgewater and Newton — each of whom could likely be acquired on the cheap — would make them a legitimate threat to get back into the playoffs.
That obviously isn’t to say they’d be perfect solutions, but better than Stidham? No doubt about it. The 2019 fourth-round pick admittedly has had limited opportunities over his first two seasons, but nobody would deny that he’s failed to show promise when he’s been out there.
In eight career games, Stidham has completed just 50% of his passes (24-of-48) for 270 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, meaning he’s thrown a pick on a whopping 8.3% of his dropbacks. These numbers prove that the only thing he could lead the Patriots to is the first overall pick in 2022.
The crazy part in all this is that Perillo acknowledged all of Stidham’s flaws and lack of potential, yet is still convinced that the Patriots getting a clearer picture of what they have in him is best.
We could continue, but there’s really no point in beating a dead horse. If the Pats were sold on Stidham as their starter for 2021, they wouldn’t reportedly be exhausting all potential options on the current trade and free agent market. He also would’ve supplanted Newton as the starter at some point last season amid the former MVP’s struggles.
The franchise is trying to get back to the playoffs, not experiment for another season.