The New England Patriots have given every indication that they are set on replacing Tom Brady with options in-house, but it's a narrative many refuse to accept. Cam Newton is still a free agent and some expect Bill Belichick to make an offer for a young star like Deshaun Watson, but Jarrett Stidham has been preparing as if he will be the starting quarterback come August.
Stidham was the Patriots' fourth-round pick last season, and he had a solid collegiate career at Baylor and Auburn --completing 64.3 percent of his passes for 7,217 yards, 48 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in two-plus seasons as a starter. He threw passes in only two NFL games last season, and completed 3 of 4 attempts for 14 yards. Stidham also threw one pick-six. He did made some waves in the preseason last year during joint practices with the Detroit Lions, but he's going to have to beat out Brian Hoyer or one of the undrafted signal-callers the Patriots recently signed this offseason for the right to start.
Stidham has been taking on more of a leadership role as we inch closer to the preseason, and Mike Reiss of ESPN reports that he has been "a catalyst" for offseason throwing sessions with teammates. Stidham referenced his specific work with Julian Edelman on his Instagram account this week. Hoyer has also reportedly been present at the throwing sessions, as has Gunner Olszewski. Along with leading his teammates in voluntary workouts, Stidham has also been active in the New England community this offseason. In May, he and his wife, Kennedy, provided 1,000 lunches for children and families through the local YMCA.
Stidham is considered the favorite to take Brady's spot under center this year, and it's quite an opportunity to work with arguably the greatest head coach of all time. CBS NFL Draft writer Chris Trapasso wrote a great piece identifying what Stidham must do in 2020 to take the first step in the right direction. Check out his analysis .