Bill Belichick loves him some Jake Dolegala.
The Hoodie claimed the 6’7″ QB off waivers on Wednesday after he was released by the Green Bay Packers earlier in the week, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.
With the New England Patriots claiming Dolegala, the Patriots now have five quarterbacks on the roster.
Dolegala With the Patriots in 2020
The Patriots obviously see something they like in Dolegala. Wednesday’s move marks the third time they have either signed or added him to their practice squad.
The round-and-round with Dolegala began in September 2020 when the Patriots added him to their practice squad after he’d spent some time in the same spot with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Patriots removed him from the practice squad in November 2020, but only to sign him to a reserve/futures deal in January. most recently, at least prior to Wednesday’s move, the Patriots waived Dolegala in April.
Dolegala had signed with the Packers amidst their issues with Aaron Rodgers. The latter reported to training camp as he worked things out with the franchise, which has led to the release of Dolegala and former Jacksonville Jaguars first-round selection Blake Bortles.
While Rodgers and Dolegala are far from equal, there may be some similarities in Green Bay and New England as it relates to the aftermath of their returns to the two cities, respectively.
Just as Rodgers’ arrival at Packers training camp triggered moves in Green Bay, you have to wonder if the same is on the way with Dolegala’s return to New England
Something May Be Amiss With Jarrett Stidham
With Dolegala’s return, the Patriots now have 5 quarterbacks.
Dolegala joins Cam Newton, Mac Jones, Jarret Stidham and Brian Hoyer. There is no way this team goes into the 2021 season with 5 signal-callers.
As we turn our attention to who might be the odd man–or even men–out, it’s hard not to look Stidham’s way. The third-year quarterback is on the Physically Unable to Perform list to start training camp. What’s worse, Stidham isn’t expected to be available for a while, per The Athletic’s Jeff Howe.
Stidham is already in the least-favorable position of all the quarterbacks on the Patriots’ roster. At 24 years old, and having been drafted in the fourth round in 2019, Stidham should be firmly entrenched as the Patriots’ starting quarterback at this point in his career.
That had to have been the idea when the team took him as the probable successor to Tom Brady. Along the way, something hasn’t quite clicked, and New England might be close to pulling the plug. Stidham turns 25 on August 8.
If that’s the case, the Patriots wouldn’t necessarily be saying they like Dolegala more than Stidham. Instead, they may feel Dolegala better fits the role of a practice squad QB.
If things go as planned, Newton will be the starter, Jones will be his backup, and waiting in the wings. Hoyer is Jones’ mentor and not threatening to be the starter as he possibly moves closer to joining the Patriots coaching staff in a few years.
That would leave Dolegala as the PS quarterback, which is a role that Stidham seems beyond. A fresh start is probably best for him.
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