Patriots roster reset: Jarrett Stidham’s time to shine at QB

Andy Hart
June 01, 2020 - 2:07 pm
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Over the next few weeks, as we crawl closer to the hopeful opening of Patriots training camp later this summer, WEEI.com will take a position-by-position look at the New England roster following an eventful offseason of comings and goings.

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Quarterback

Roster: Jarrett Stidham (2nd season), Brian Hoyer (12th), J’Mar Smith (rookie), Brian Lewerke (rookie)

Key Additions: Brian Hoyer (FA/Colts)

Key Losses: Tom Brady (FA/Buccaneers)

Projected Starter: Jarrett Stidham

Biggest Question: Forget about Tom Brady’s huge cleats, do the Patriots even have a starting-caliber quarterback capable of keeping the team in games and in playoff contention in 2020?

Key Stat: 15 – The number of snaps fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham played a year ago as a rookie backup.

Overview: Tom Brady’s exodus from the Patriots dynasty that he’s been a key part of for two decades was arguably the biggest story in sports this offseason. The GOAT moving on to Tampa Bay obviously leaves a massive hole on the quarterback depth chart in New England. Clearly Bill Belichick isn’t going to replace what Brady brought to the position. Stidham was Brady’s primary backup throughout last season, but barely saw the field and completed just two of his four passes as a rookie, while throwing a pick-6 interception against the Jets. Stidham brings athleticism and an impressive arm to the job, which could add new, modern wrinkles to the Patriots’ playbook. Stidham has impressed those around him -- both players and coaches – with his work ethic and maturity. But, can he actually get the job done? Even if Stidham is the kind of prospect that his promotors believe, there will be bumps. Hoyer is in his third tour through New England in his 12th NFL season. He knows the offense. He’s been around the block with 38 career starts and 69 games under his belt. If Stidham isn’t ready to open the year or struggles, Hoyer is a serviceable veteran to hold down the fort for a short period of time. The bottom line is the Patriots quarterback position – and likely overall season – will hinge on how ready Stidham is to compete in NFL action in 2020. No one can possibly know how that will play out right now. No one.

Power Rating (1-5): *

Between a young, unproven mid-round pick in Stidham and the fading journeyman Hoyer, the Patriots have arguably one of the worst quarterback depth charts in the NFL heading toward the 2020 season.

Related: Patriots among ‘three worst teams in the NFL’