Are Jarrett Stidham's Days as a New England Patriot Numbered?


As the New England Patriots kicked off their 2021 training camp yesterday, a host of players found themselves on the Physically Unable to Perform list to start.  Among several notable names, the one that stood out the most to me was third-year quarterback, Jarrett Stidham.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Yesterday, Jeff Howe reported that Stidham has an injury to his right shoulder that could require surgery, but is expected to keep him sidelined for an extended amount of time regardless.  For a guy who seemingly has failed to capitalize on the few opportunities presented to him over the first couple of seasons, missing an extended amount of training camp will only push him further down the depth chart.

Which begs the question, is Stidham's time in New England coming to an end?

After a rookie season sitting behind Tom Brady, many felt last season was Stidham's opportunity to become the starter.  However, he never quite seized that opportunity.  He failed to beat out Cam Newton for the Week 1 starting role, and when Newton missed a game due to COVID-19, Bill Belichick opted to go with Brian Hoyer over Stidham.

Even as Newton struggled throughout the year, Belichick scoffed at the idea of replacing him with Stidham.  When New England was officially eliminated from playoff contention, and it felt like the perfect opportunity to let Stidham showcase his abilities, New England stuck with Newton. 

Now with the re-signing of Newton this offseason, in hindsight it makes sense that they stuck with him in those final two games.  However, at the time, most people felt Newton would not be returning to New England, and the logical decision was to let Stidham play.

In the few opportunities of mop-up duty that Stidham received last year, he did nothing to catch anybody's attention.  As a matter of fact he did the opposite; throwing three interceptions in just five games, and completing just 50% of his passes.

Now, with first round pick Mac Jones in the mix, where does that leave Stidham?  Even before the news of his injury, all of the talk was that the competition this summer was between Jones and Newton.  Stidham was a mere afterthought.  New England even opted to bring back Brian Hoyer.  A bit of surprise move for a team that very rarely carries four quarterbacks during the season.

It feels like a veteran like Hoyer, who has much more experience in the Patriots system, would provide more value than somebody like Stidham.  Maybe in some sort of mentorship role to Jones.  However, Hoyer's spot on the roster appears to be in jeopardy due to his vaccination status. 

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Does that virtually guarantee Stidham a spot on the roster when healthy?  Maybe the Patriots move forward with just two quarterbacks.  They did bring back Jake Dolegaga, but it doesn't feel like he has a realistic shot at making the roster. 

Stidham couldn't break through and get on the field last year, and now with this injury, and the addition of Jones, it feels even more unlikely he will this year.

It's not unheard of for the Patriots to carry just two quarterbacks.  They did so on multiple occasions with Brady.  With New England deep at positions like running back and defensive back, would they opt to sacrifice carrying a third quarterback? 

Follow Derek on Twitter @mcvay34.

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Are Jarrett Stidham's Days as a New England Patriot Numbered?
Are Jarrett Stidham's Days as a New England Patriot Numbered?
Boston Sports Syndicate
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