The Las Vegas Raiders appeared set to roll with Nick Mullens and Garrett Gilbert as quarterback Derek Carr’s backups this season, but head coach Josh McDaniels has decided to bring in a player that he’s worked with as recently as last season.
According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, the Raiders are swapping late-round picks with the New England Patriots in a trade for quarterback Jarrett Stidham.
McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler are familiar with Stidham, who will be 26 when the season starts, from their time in New England, where McDaniels was offensive coordinator and Stidham was a backup quarterback in 2019 and 2020 and part of 2021.
Stidham, a fourth-round pick out of Auburn in 2019, has thrown only 48 passes in his NFL career, completing 24 of them for 256 yards and two touchdowns. He’s also thrown four interceptions.
ALL the latest Raiders news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Raiders newsletter here!
Stidham Was Once Considered Patriots’ ‘Future’ at QB
Stidham was a big talking point in the NFL a couple of years ago. After quarterback Tom Brady left the Patriots after 20 years there for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Stidham was considered a likely option to replace him. Former NFL general manager Michael Lombardi even suggested that he was the future at quarterback for the team.
“I think that the Patriots realized that it’s time for them to get on with their future, which is Jarrett Stidham,” Lombardi said in 2020 on his “The GM Shuffle” podcast. “I think it’s time for them to change what they do offensively around a younger, mobile, multi-dimensional player in terms of footwork, and stay away from the intellectual type that they’ve had.”
Stidham had a chance to earn the starting spot heading into the 2020 season, his second in the league, but the Patriots signed a former league MVP, Cam Newton, who won the quarterback job and went 7-8 in the 15 games he started. Stidham was passed over in favor of journeyman Brian Hoyer to start the one game Newton missed, a Week 4 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
In 2021, the Patriots drafted quarterback Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick, which appeared to effectively end of idea of Stidham becoming New England’s starting quarterback. It became official when the Patriots released Newton in August of that year and named Jones the starting quarterback. Jones started all 17 of the Patriots’ games, with Stidham appearing in five of them.
What Stidham Trade Means for Raiders
The Raiders signed Carr, 31, to a three-year extension in April, so McDaniels isn’t bringing in Stidham because he thinks he’ll be a starter. He slots in as the second backup on the unofficial depth chart behind Mullens and ahead of Gilbert.
Mullens, 27, has 17 starts across four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns, throwing 26 touchdowns against 22 interceptions. And Gilbert, who will be 31 when the season starts, has only 75 pass attempts with one touchdown and one interception across four seasons with four different teams. The Raiders signed him in March.
With Stidham now on the roster, Gilbert will likely eventually be pushed out. He was a former quarterback in McDaniels’ offense, too, if only for about six months. He was signed to the Patriots’ practice squad in December 2014 before getting waived in June 2015. Mullens should be safe given his ability to complete passes (he has a 64.6% career completion percentage) and score touchdowns.