Jarrett Stidham Should Be New England Patriots Backup Quarterback

Jarrett Stidham
NASHVILLE, TN - AUGUST 17: Jarrett Stidham #4 of the New England Patriots runs the ball during a game against the Tennessee Titans during week two of the preseason at Nissan Stadium on August 17, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Patriots defeated the Titans 22-17. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

With all due respect to Brian Hoyer, it’s officially time for the Jarrett Stidham era to begin. Stidham came in midway through the second quarter of New England’s third preseason game and put up some impressive film during his time on the field. This is his third consecutive encouraging outing, and this performance came against some of Carolina’s starters. Stidham is ready for the backup job, and the Patriots should actively shop Hoyer and move forward with Stidham behind Tom Brady.

Jarrett Stidham Has Earned New England Patriots Primary Backup Quarterback Job

Tom Brady earned the start and played into the second quarter. However, the 42-year old left the game relatively early to give way to fourth-round rookie Jarrett Stidham. This was obviously an interesting choice, as Hoyer has been the primary backup throughout camp. Bill Belichick wanted to see what Stidham could do against top competition, and the rookie answered the call.

Stidham entered halftime completing six of his nine throws for 52 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. While he didn’t author any scoring drives in the first half, he made a handful of impressive throws. Additionally, he showed an impressive amount of pocket awareness and the ability to deliver throws while getting hit.

Was Stidham perfect? Not by a long shot. Stidham had a bad play where he forgot to protect the ball and fumbled deep in Carolina territory. His pocket presence needs work, as he held on to the ball a little too long and invited some unnecessary sacks. He’s obviously not ready to start, but he’s more than capable of usurping Brian Hoyer on the depth chart.

What to Do With Brian Hoyer

If Stidham wasn’t ready for the backup job, New England would be fine carrying three quarterbacks. However, since Stidham appears ready for the increased workload, there’s no point to wasting an extra roster spot on Hoyer. At this point, everyone knows what Brian Hoyer brings to the table. He’s a solid backup capable of filling in for a few games at a time, but he’s nobody’s idea of a franchise quarterback.

The Patriots are in an enviable position, as most teams would kill to have a backup as good as Brian Hoyer. One of those teams happens to be New England’s Week Three opponents, the Carolina Panthers. Starting quarterback Cam Newton has battled injuries over the past few seasons and suffered a foot injury early in the contest. As of this posting, nobody knows the severity of Newton’s latest ailment. However, even if Newton’s ok, the Panthers cannot neglect the backup position.

If Newton is gone for a significant amount of time, the Panthers fate would lie in the hands of Kyle Allen. Allen took over for Newton, and he’s not an ideal option for the Panthers. The Texas A&M product only has 31 career passing attempts to his name and didn’t do anything to inspire confidence during Thursday’s action. Carolina drafted Will Grier in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, but he’s clearly not ready for starting duties yet.

The Patriots would clear $3 million by trading Hoyer away, and the Panthers need a better insurance policy for Newton. Exchanging a fifth- or sixth-round pick for Hoyer’s services makes sense for both sides.

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