Patriots Rookie QBs Get Horrible News

Getty J'Mar Smith and Brian Lewerke

J’Mar Smith and Brian Lewerke are undrafted free-agent quarterbacks for the New England Patriots. A few weeks ago it appeared as though the two men would be battling for the third quarterback spot, but when the Patriots signed Cam Newton to a one-year deal, everything changed.

Based on the safety precautions and the limitations for the upcoming season, things may be set to change drastically.

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The Preseason News

The NFL has proposed a safety plan during the COVID-19 pandemic that might eliminate all or at least three of the preseason games. If that happens, it will make it much harder for any undrafted free agents to make the roster.

It’ll be especially tough for quarterbacks on a roster where there will already be three veterans in place–the newly signed Newton; 2019 fourth-round draft pick Jarrett Stidham, who is expected to battle Newton for the starting job; and career backup Brain Hoyer, who will spend the sixth of his 12 NFL seasons with the Patriots this year.

Smith’s best chances of making the team still are as a practice squad performer. Smith’s ability to emulate athletic quarterbacks in the league is a valuable asset for the Patriots to have at their disposal.

However, depending on the roster limitations and salary cap restrictions, they may not be able to afford to keep him aboard. The case for Lewerke is even worse. He was already likely behind Smith as it pertains to his chances of making the team outright, but without a proper training camp or preseason, Lewerke might be better off electing to sit out this year’s activities in hopes of having a cleaner shot ahead of the 2021 season.

There Are Other Undrafted Free Agents With Similar Issues

On the offensive end, undrafted wide receivers like Jeff Thomas, Will Hastings, and Isaiah Zuber will also have a tough time finding spots. The wide receiver corps is becoming a bit crowded with young talent.

Last year’s 2019 first-round draft pick N’Keal Harry, and other youngsters like Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski will also be vying for spots on the team perhaps behind Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu.

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Dame la pelota

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Harris, Meyers, and Olszewski have time in with the Patriots and in the system, so they will likely have a leg up. All of the UDFAx will have to hope for a chance to show their skills to the Patriots or perhaps another team.

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