|Team:||New England Patriots|
|Ht / Wt:||6'2" / 218 lb.|
|Born:||August 8, 1996|
|Drafted:||2019 / Rd. 4 (133)|
The Patriots have signed Cam Newton to compete with Stidham and Brian Hoyer for the starting quarterback job, ESPN.com's Mike Reiss reports.
Analysis: The 2015 NFL MVP profiles as the favorite in his competition against a 2019 fourth-round pick and a veteran journeyman, but the door could open for Stidham if Newton isn't sharp during training camp. Given that he's coming back from major foot surgery and also has a troubling history of shoulder injuries, there's no guarantee the 31-year-old Newton will look like the prime version of himself. The Patriots' patient approach to their post-Tom-Brady quarterback situation might be interpreted as a sign of confidence in Stidham, who was sharp last preseason but only saw mop-up duty (four pass attempts, one pick-six) once the games counted.
The Patriots' signing of Brian Hoyer suggests Stidham has a good chance to earn the starting quarterback job, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: It's a good sign for Stidham that the team signed Hoyer instead of a more accomplished veteran, though there's still time to add further competition to the quarterback room before Week 1. WEEI's Ryan Hannable reports that Hoyer's agent said the 34-year-old was told he'd have a chance to compete for the starting job, presumably squaring off against Stidham this summer. The 2019 fourth-round pick beat out Hoyer for the backup job last offseason, prompting the Patriots to release the veteran at the end of August.
With Tom Brady officially a member of the Buccaneers, Stidham and Cody Kessler are currently the only QBs the Patriots have under contract for 2020.
Analysis: That said, it seems likely the team will add a quarterback or two via trade, free agency or the NFL Draft. Per ESPN's Mike Reiss, Stidham, who turns 24 in August, "is considered mature beyond his years" and "has shown a knack for making plays on the move," but it remains to be seen if the Patriots will look create a scenario in which the 2019 fourth-rounder has a chance to immediately claim the top job, or one in which veteran competition is brought in with an eye toward affording Stidham added time to develop into a reliable NFL starter.
Stidham completed two of four pass attempts for 14 yards and a pick in three appearances during the 2019 regular season.
Analysis: The 2019 fourth-rounder spent his entire rookie season as Tom Brady's top backup after the team parted ways with veteran QB Brian Hoyer in advance of Week 1. Predictably, Stidham's game action was restricted to a trio of garbage-time appearances, with Brady playing the Patriots' entire 16-game slate. Behind the scenes, however, Stidham's throwing ability and all-around work in practice this past season has drawn praise from both his teammates and coaches, per Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal. Once the Patriots' season is over, there will be plenty of focus on Brady's status with the franchise, and it won't be until that's settled that Stidham's 2020 fantasy outlook can be accurately assessed.
Stidham is the Patriots No. 2 quarterback following the release of Brian Hoyer, Adam Caplan of SiriusXM Radio reports.
Analysis: A fourth-round pick in 2019, Stidham fared well enough in his first pro preseason to serve as Tom Brady's backup off the bat.
Stidham completed 18 of 28 passes for 225 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in Thursday's 31-29 loss to the Giants in the preseason finale. He also rushed seven times for 50 yards and lost a fumble.
Analysis: Stidham played the entire game, as New England wanted to get an extended look at its rookie fourth-rounder. He also got to work with some of the team's heavy artillery on the outside -- Julian Edelman played the opening drive, while both Demaryius Thomas and Josh Gordon played the first five. Stidham was most effective throwing to Thomas -- the two connected seven times for 87 yards, including touchdowns of 35 and three yards. Despite this promising performance, Stidham will open the season third on the depth chart behind veterans Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer.
Stidham completed 14 of 24 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown in Thursday's preseason opener, a 31-0 win over the Lions.
Analysis: It's just one game, but Stidham took care of the ball, had some nice throws and displayed solid poise for a rookie fourth-rounder. The 23-year-old is obviously no threat to Tom Brady's starting job, but the early returns have been good and Stidham looks like a signal-caller worth grooming. Whether that occurs with him as the team's No. 3 signal-caller or as Tom Brady's direct backup in 2019 remains to be seen, though with that in mind, we'd be surprised if the team let veteran Brian Hoyer go.
Stidham has performed well in training camp to date, NFL.com's Jelani Scott reports.
Analysis: While the 22-year-old is obviously no threat to supplant starter Tom Brady, the fourth-rounder's strong showing in training camp suggests that the team has unearthed a QB worth grooming. With Brady unlikely to play in Thursday's preseason opener against the Lions, Stidham is on track to see his first game action as a pro in that contest.
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