By now, chances are you’ve read multiple reports about how high the Patriots are on sophomore quarterback Jarrett Stidham. Some of those reports have gone so far as to suggest that New England was fine letting Tom Brady leave, as it believes that much in Stidham.
But how much truth is there behind those reports?
Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard — one of the more tied-in reporters covering the Patriots — on Sunday attempted to separate fact from fiction amid the escalating Stidham hysteria. In particular, Bedard is skeptical about the timing of the Stidham reports, few of which came out before Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
From his column:
I wonder what changed. Did Stidham suddenly get better since the season was over? Did he impress the coaches via Zoom? Of course not. Brady left, Stidham was the only QB left, so why not have some optimism?
Anything beyond that, any reports describing Stidham as the plan, or about how the Patriots know he has the making of the next franchise quarterback are just ? well, they?re hogwash.
How do I know? Well, for starters, multiple team sources told me after the season ? well before Brady?s future was known or declared ? that the team was pleased where Stidham was (similar to the spot to where Jimmy Garoppolo was after his first season), thought he had a chance to be a good player, but there much unknown about him. All things being equal, he likely needed at least another year of seasoning before really tackling the position.
But there?s also this: the Patriots don?t anoint anyone anything before they earn it on the field. That?s just a fact. Here?s another fact: the Patriots had no idea what they had in Brady before he had to go in against the Jets after Drew Bledsoe was injured, and the team largely played around Brady?s limitations on the way to the Super Bowl and beyond.
Make of that what you will.
Ultimately, the most Patriots fans should go on are opinions from football experts who know Stidham best. Urban Meyer, for one, believes the Auburn product is destined for greatness in New England.