Jarrett Stidham isn't just getting the New England Patriots starting quarterback job by default, a report claims.
The second-year quarterback is going into the 2020 season as the top quarterback on the roster after Tom Brady's departure, and Fox Sports Radio host Rich Ohrnberger believes that he has earned that spot by winning over the Patriots coaching staff. While many expected New England to snag a quarterback in the NFL draft or look for a veteran who could start in place of Stidham while he develops, the Patriots have not made any quarterback moves beyond picking up a pair of undrafted free agents seen as potential third-stringers.
As Ohrnberger tweeted, it appears that the Patriots have a real belief that the former fourth-round pick can become the full-time starter.
"I've heard it now from A LOT of people close to the Patriots. They really believe in Jarrett Stidham," he wrote. "Like it or not, Stidham is not a cheap placeholder... he's the future."
Bleacher Report seemed to confirm the sentiment, reporting that the team's faith in Jarret Stidham allowed them to trade back out of the first round rather than grabbing one of the quarterbacks remaining on the board.
"People around the league can't help but think of some great Patriots conspiracy that they'll trade up for a quarterback," according to an unnamed AFC pro scout cited by the report. "First it was Baker [Mayfield], then it was Tua. Spoiler alert: They really like Stidham."Another top agent told Bleacher Report that the Patriots didn't seem interested in the free agent quarterback crop, sticking with Stidham as the presumptive starter and veteran Brian Hoyer as a backup who isn't seen as a challenge to take the starting job.
The Patriots were pegged by some as a potential landing spot for veteran Andy Dalton after his release from the Cincinnati Bengals, but he opted to play in his home state and sign with the Dallas Cowboys. The Patriots have also held back on looking into Cam Newton, who had been seen as another potential starter in the post-Tom Brady era.
Stidham would go into the 2020 season with a light resume. Playing behind the durable Brady, Stidham saw action in only a handful of games during the 2019 season and ended the year with just four pass attempts. But the fact that he earned the backup job was seen as a major sign of the team's faith in him.