Tom Brady walked away from the New England Patriots after 20 years and 6 Super Bowl Rings. The 6th round draft pick at the 2000 NFL draft was synonymous with the quarterback role at Foxborough. However, Bill Belichick will not be able to summon his services and one of the biggest questions in everyone’s mind is regarding who will fill the gigantic shoes vacated by the 42-year-old.
The New England Patriots were expected to go for a quarterback in last month’s draft. However, they didn’t with Bellichick saying the decision “wasn’t by design.”
This is a clear indicator that he had plans to get a quarterback but things just didn’t work out. However, the Patriots added undrafted free agents in J’Mar Smith and Brian Lewerke immediately after the draft.
They join sophomore Jarrett Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer on the roster. Brian Hoyer has Super Bowl-winning experience and will be on his 3rd stint at the Gillette Stadium. However, it’s unlikely he will start as he was released to allow last year’s 4th round pick, Stidham be the back up to Tom Brady.
As things stand right now, it seems that Bellichick is backing the 23-year-old to start and grow into the role. The NFL website columnists too agree with the 23-year-old being the first choice.
Jim Trotter opts to back Belichick’s intention to build a winner. He says, “Every journey starts someplace. You don’t know what you have until he steps on the field.”
Judy Battista feels Bellichick made a statement when he did not aggressively pursue free-agent quarterbacks. She cites familiarity being key and Stidham has a year’s experience under his belt with the team. Furthermore, she says 2020 should be given to the sophomore to prove himself as one who can rise near Tom Brady’s level.
Jeffri Chadiha believes in an oft floated statement of teams commenting on their current roster based on their draft moves. “There were plenty of options sensible options out there, and his decision to go with Stidham and Hoyer means he is comfortable with those possibilities.”
Do you see Jarrett Stidham starting for the Patriots? Will Belichick swoop in for the likes of Cam Newton?