New England Patriots: Jarrett Stidham and his fall from grace

New England Patriots Jarrett Stidham (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
New England Patriots Jarrett Stidham (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Has Jarrett Stidham fallen off the radar as the New England Patriots quarterback of the future?

It was just about three months ago that New England Patriots second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham was still widely considered the heir apparent to Tom Brady.

Following Brady’s departure for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in March, the Patriots passed on taking his potential replacement in the draft. And the only veteran who they brought in to compete with Stidham, Brady’s backup in 2019, was Brain Hoyer, a guy who knows Bill Belichick’s system quite well, but has yet to find success as a starting quarterback in the NFL.

While Hoyer may have gotten the start week one due to his experience, most people assumed that before the season’s end, the Patriots would be Jarrett Stidham’s team.

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Of course, we all know what happened after that. The Patriots went out and signed Cam Newton, essentially ensuring that Stidham would not be the starter this season.

But few, if any, people expected Stidham to fall as hard as he did.

We are now three weeks into the 2020 NFL season, and Jarrett Stidham has been inactive for all three of the Patriots’ games thus far. Less than four months after essentially being anointed as the Patriots’ quarterback of the future, Stidham is now firmly entrenched as the third-stringer.

Talk about a fall from grace.

But what exactly happened that caused that fall? What was it that lead Bill Belichick to bail on the Stidham plan and sign Cam Newton? And what caused Jarrett Stidham to fall all the way down to third on the depth chart, thereby landing him on the inactive list most weeks?

It’s hard to know exactly. Sure, Stidham didn’t exactly have the best training camp, and he had to miss part of it with an injury. He also attended a wedding in Texas this summer, which the Patriots were reportedly not too pleased by.

Still, that doesn’t exactly seem to warrant how far Stidham fell.

Because if Stidham couldn’t even beat out Brian Hoyer, a career backup, for the job of QB #2, then we cannot help but wonder what his future as an NFL quarterback will look like. Just three months after being anointed as the starting quarterback of the most decorated franchise in the league, all of a sudden, Jarrett Stidham’s chances of ever being a starting quarterback in the NFL are looking slim at best.

Perhaps, then, this was the plan all along.

Perhaps Stidham’s impressive preseason last year was a fluke. Perhaps Bill Belichick knew from what he saw last season that Stidham wasn’t his guy, and he intended to sign Cam Newton from the second that Tom Brady walked out the door.

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But if that was the case, then why did Belichick wait until late June to sign Newton?

It’s impossible to know exactly what went on behind the closed doors of Belichick’s office. But that’s all in the past. And right now, the New England Patriots are 2-1, Cam Newton is their starting quarterback, and Jarrett Stidham’s future as an NFL quarterback is in serious jeopardy.