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New England Patriots reportedly not sold on Jarrett Stidham, feared ‘debacle’ if he started in 2020

Jan 3, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Jarrett Stidham (4) listens to his headset from the sideline during a game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

When Tom Brady left the New England Patriots, reports immediately emerged that the organization was very confident in Jarrett Stidham. Despite a quarterback-rich 2020 NFL Draft, New England didn’t take advantage and went into the summer brimming with confidence.

New England didn’t just believe he could be the starter, there was a strong feeling that they would win quickly with him under center. Lacking an identity, reports kept indicating just how much faith the organization had in its young quarterback.

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Suddenly, the Patriots scooped up Cam Newton. The quarterback competition was never really close, with Newton running away with the job and Stidham getting hurt. Months after the team’s season ended, we might now have a better picture of how the organization feels about Stidham.

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According to Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard, the Patriots’ organization doesn’t have much faith in Stidham. After receiving tons of hype just a year ago, Stidham’s teammates didn’t really buy into him as a starting quarterback and there was generally just a lack of belief in him inside the building.

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“I came to learn was more about how the other players viewed Stidham, more than anything else. And you could even see that when he got into the games and the way he conducted the huddle. For whatever reason – and I don’t know if it was the training camp injury or the offseason thing or what have you, or the way he just conducts himself – there’s not a lot of belief (in him) in that building.”

Greg Bedard on New England Patriots level of confidence in Jarrett Stidham, via The Greg Bedard Patriots Podcast

Stidham, a fourth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, never really stood a chance to win the starting job last summer. He was taken to the hospital after suffering a hip injury last August, sidelining him and allowing Newton and Brian Hoyer to win the top two spots on the depth chart. Even before that, though, the organization grew increasingly frustrated by his performances in training camp.

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An offseason that saw Stidham hyped up by the organization and even receiving rave reviews from rival coaches didn’t result in him performing any better. He eventually worked his way up the depth chart during the season, making four appearances off the bench, but there was reportedly concern about ever turning the offense over to him.

“There was the feeling within the team that if they turned the keys over to Stidham, that it would become a complete debacle down the stretch and that wouldn’t be good for anybody.”

GREG BEDARD ON how New England Patriots viewed Jarrett Stidham, VIA THE GREG BEDARD PATRIOTS PODCAST

Newton didn’t even play well last season and the Patriots almost never went away from him as the starter. Now, with more salary cap space than almost any other NFL team, New England is exploring the trade market for an upgrade at the position.

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If the Patriots strike out on Deshaun Watson, Jimmy Garoppolo and Sam Darnold, the only remaining avenues are Marcus Mariota or the 2021 NFL Draft. No matter how this plays out, it’s clear there is little chance Stidham is starting in 2021.