Cam Newton or Jarrett Stidham – The Battle For Quarterback Remains Open in New England

Published 08/17/2020, 8:57 PM EDT


It’s been a busy offseason for Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots. The exit of legendary quarterback Tom Brady came as a shock to Patriots fans earlier this year. He opted to end his 20-year association with the New England-based franchise and moved to Florida. Brady signed a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers which is worth around $60 million.

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Brady’s departure meant that backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham emerged as the heir to the former’s throne. Stidham has been with the Patriots for just a year. Replacing a six-time Super Bowl winner is not something that Stidham would have prepared for. However, there was another twist to the tale.

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Pats head coach took a calculative risk and signed the 2015 NFL MVP, Cam Newton to a one-year deal. Both these players will be pushing for a spot in the starting lineup as Belichick and the Pats gear up for life after TB12.

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Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham, or Brian Hoyer – who will start this season?

Former Carolina Panthers man Cam Newton has been struggling with injuries since 2019. The veteran quarterback nursed foot and shoulder injuries in 2019. As a result, he featured in just two games all season. Panthers opted against tying down Newton to an extension.  He was signed on a $1.5 million deal by Robert Kraft-owned New England Patriots.

At the very offset, Newton appears to be in fine shape and eager to silence his doubters. There is no question that if Newton remains fit he will prove to be a valuable asset for Belichick in the long-term. Newton’s dual-threat abilities is something that the coaches in New England have not worked with in the last 20 years.

In 2018, Newton threw for 3,395 and completed 24 TDs against 13 interceptions. He also rushed for 488 yards and made four rushing touchdowns. Cam will offer coach Belichick a different approach going forward. However, his fitness will be the ultimate factor that determines his fate in New England.

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The other contender for Brady’s throne is the original heir – young Jarrett Stidham. Stidham was fourth-round pick (133rd overall) in 2019. The Auburn-college graduate featured in three games last season but is yet to register a start for the Pats. This could be his breakthrough year, given Brady’s exit. Stidham was a starter at Auburn and led his team to the SEC West Division Championship in 2018. He threw for 2,794 yards with a pass completion rate of 60.7 for 18 TDs. He announced that he would forgo his senior year and declared for the 2019 NFL draft.

Stidham is the conventional-style quarterback that Belichick is used to working with. He could be the next best thing to arrive in New England after Brady. Not to forget, Stidham has already spent a year at Gilette Stadium working as an understudy to TB12 who left in the off season. He will know Belichick’s playbook and will be the obvious first choice to start for the Patriots.

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Meanwhile, a NFL’s James Palmer further said that veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer is also in the mix to earn a starting spot for the Pats this season. Hoyer was part of the Indianapolis Colts setup last year. He was brought in on a one-year contract earlier this year to provide Newton and Stidham some added competition.

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Daniel Arambur

1857 articles

Daniel Arambur is an NFL writer and content strategist for EssentiallySports.With more than 1,000 articles, he is one of the senior writers in the NFL cohort at ES. A mass media graduate from the University of Mumbai, Daniel has found the perfect blend of vocation and passion in the sports content niche.

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