The New England Patriots obviously want Jarrett Stidham to develop into a top-notch starting QB in the NFL. However, if he does not, the team has very little invested in him financially and could move on without losing much at all.
Patriots Aren’t ‘Married’ to Stidham
The frailty of the Patriots and Stidham’s connection was uncovered by ESPN’s Dan Graziano. He made this poignant and balanced statement regarding the Patriots’ current commitment to their young quarterback.
“A fourth-round pick in 2019, Stidham’s entire guarantee was a $636,112 signing bonus,” Graziano points out. “The Patriots are scheduled to pay him about $2.5 million total over the next three years, none of it guaranteed. Since he was not a first-round pick, there’s no fifth-year option for 2023. Basically, if Stidham doesn’t work out, he’ll cost the Patriots close to nothing.”
So, if you want to know part of the reason the media and NFL experts keep discussing the possibilities of the Patriots trading for another QB or signing Cam Newton, the lack of financial commitment to Stidham is one of them.
There’s also Stidham’s inexperience and the presence of veteran Brian Hoyer to add to the instability of the former’s grip on the starting job.
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Context For Stidham’s Situation
We shouldn’t look at Stidham’s deal and use it as a means to disrespect him or to say that it is proof the Patriots don’t believe in him. The team didn’t draft a QB at all in 2019. That has to say something about the way they see Stidham’s upside.
As a fourth-round pick, Stidham’s four-year, $3.156 million contract, which included a $636,112 fully guaranteed signing bonus is pretty standard.
There is no reason at this point in his career, he should be more secure with his current team. That’s, even more, the case when you consider he threw a grand total of four passes during the regular season as he played behind Tom Brady.
Stidham hasn’t proven himself yet, but that’s what the 2020 season is all about. Perhaps, unfortunately, he isn’t the only player on offense in that situation.
Stidham is in a bit of a strange situation. He is widely regarded as the man charged with replacing arguably the greatest QB in NFL history. However, he hasn’t officially been given the starting job by head coach Bill Belichick and Co.
Instead, the presence of veteran QB Brian Hoyer, and to a lesser degree, undrafted free agents J’Mar Smith and Brian Lewerke won’t allow Stidham to relax.
If he can beat Hoyer out for the job to start the season, and then putting together a promising season in 2020, Stidham will have taken the steps toward becoming a QB who is far more married to his team.
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