After spending two months believing the New England Patriots were actually going to ride with a quarterback room of Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer, news broke Sunday to illustrate that wouldn’t be the case.

The reported signing of Newton has been followed up by reports indicating it has nothing to do with the performance of Stidham, who enters his second season. I do, however, believe it relates to the Patriots’ confidence — both short term and long term — in Stidham, but it’s important to understand those are two different entities.

The signing of Newton does indicate something about Stidham’s current position. The Patriots simply are saying they’re interested in the potential upside brought on by the 2015 NFL MVP, and that a 2019 fourth-rounder should not just be handed the starting job because he’s there.

Who could blame them? Especially considering the team-friendly, incentive-laden deal Newton reportedly signed.

The strange offseason may have aided that decision by head coach Bill Belichick. After all, Stidham had been impacted by an unprecedented offseason, to no fault of his own. But the fact is he may not be able to make the full second-year leap others have in the past because the opportunities were not been there during the virtual offseason. If Newton enters the offseason competition healthy, Stidham shouldn’t feel slighted if he loses the position battle to a bigger, stronger and more experienced quarterback. If healthy, Newton is a top 10 QB in the NFL.

Where I draw the line, however, is in regards to this signing meaning the Patriots aren’t confident in Stidham long term. I don’t believe this deal means that is the case.

Newton’s one-year contract means the Patriots can wipe their hands of him after 2020. They have no long-term ties to Newton, specifically regarding guaranteed money. This decision was not the same as going out and signing a quarterback (i.e. Teddy Bridgewater) to a long-term deal, or using a high-end draft pick on a player at the position (i.e. Jordan Love). Those would show less confidence in Stidham’s future.

Essentially, what the Patriots are doing is making their quarterback room better in 2020, still giving Stidham a chance to compete for the job, while also keeping the door open that it will be his down the road. Worst case scenario is Stidham watches Newton during the …read more

Source:: NESN.com – MLB


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NESN Diary: What Cam Newton’s Presence Means For Jarrett Stidham’s Future (And Other Random Thoughts)

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