The love affair between the New England Patriots and apparent starting quarterback Jarrett Stidham may not be as strong as some reports indicate.
The second-year quarterback appears to be going into 2020 with the starting job after the departure of Tom Brady and the decision by New England not to add any serious competition through either free agency or the NFL Draft. While a number of reports have indicated that the Patriots believe Stidham will be the quarterback of the future, Greg Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal isn’t sure the team is sold quite yet.
In a column this weekend, he noted that Stidham appears to have gotten the job by default after Brady’s departure for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, not because he blew away the Patriots coaching staff with his play. Bedard noted that while the staff was pleased with Stidham and his potential to be a starting quarterback, they also acknowledge there is still a lot unknown about him.
Simply declaring Stidham the starter and the future of the franchise also isn’t the Patriots style, he added.
“But there’s also this: the Patriots don’t anoint anyone anything before they earn it on the field. That’s just a fact,” Bedard wrote.
“Here’s another fact: the Patriots had no idea what they had in Brady before he had to go in against the Jets after Drew Bledsoe was injured, and the team largely played around Brady’s limitations on the way to the Super Bowl and beyond. Make of that what you will.”
There have been conflicting reports on where Stidham stands. As The Inquisitr reported, others believe that he has more solidly impressed the coaching staff and appears a lock to be the starter this year, not simply a placeholder while the team looks for the next franchise quarterback. The Patriots have added a pair of undrafted free agent quarterbacks as well, but both are seen as potential third-stringers or practice squad players at best.
I’ve heard it now from A LOT of people close to the Patriots. They really believe in Jarrett Stidham.
Like it or not, Stidham is not a cheap placeholder… he’s the future.
— Rich Ohrnberger (@ohrnberger) May 2, 2020
The Patriots likely would have ample time to prepare a backup plan if they were not confident in Stidham, as there had been rumors for months that Brady was planning to leave, and New England made no move to draft another quarterback or sign a free agent like Andy Dalton. Others believe that simply earning the backup job last year as a fourth-round pick — where he could have been thrust into a starting role at any minute had Brady gotten hurt — was proof that the Patriots were already high on him.