Although the New England Patriots’ post-Tom Brady quarterback situation has journeymen Brian Hoyer and Cody Kessler competing against 2019 fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham for the No. 1 spot, it appears that the team likely won’t be signing a more established veteran to shake things up behind center, despite the availability of players like Cam Newton and Jameis Winston.
According to Bleacher Report, ESPN’s Mike Reiss said on Wednesday’s edition of NFL Live that the Patriots are “highly, highly unlikely” to acquire a veteran quarterback via free agency or trade, with the team’s finances being the main reason why. This, as pointed out by the publication, lines up with recent rumors suggesting that New England has little interest in Winston and even Newton, the latter of whom was waived by the Carolina Panthers earlier in the week.
Talking about Newton as a potential target for the Patriots, Bleacher Report cited a tweet from Mark Maske of The Washington Post, who wrote on Tuesday that the team does have a “very tight” salary-cap situation but might be willing to splurge on a more established veteran quarterback if he’s available “for the right price.” This was, however, countered a few hours later by The Athletic’s Jeff Howe, who tweeted that the Patriots don’t seem to have any “immediate interest” in the former NFL MVP.
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) March 22, 2020
Regarding the Patriots’ latest addition to the quarterback rotation, Hoyer reportedly signed a one-year contract and is expected to make a combined $2 million in guaranteed money from both New England and his last team, the Indianapolis Colts. As explained on Twitter by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Hoyer’s agent had recently commented that his client would have passed on a more lucrative offer to play as a backup, given that the Patriots had offered the 34-year-old a chance to fight for the No. 1 spot.
Since entering the NFL in 2009 as an undrafted rookie, Hoyer has had two previous stints with the Patriots, first from 2009 through 2011, then during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Aside from those stints and last year’s run as Jacoby Brissett’s backup on the Colts, he has also spent time with the Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Chicago Bears, and San Francisco 49ers.
As for Stidham, Patriots team captain Devin McCourty had some complimentary words for the former Auburn Tigers star on his Double Coverage podcast, where he said that the young signal-caller was frequently “on-point” in previous practices.
“I really admire just how hard he works, and then I’ve got to know him off the field as well,” McCourty said. “He’s a really good guy. Young guy, but very mature. He’s married. I think the Stidhams are going to be in New England for a long time.”