A New England Patriots quarterback reportedly is corralling his team’s new-look pass-catching corps for a series of throwing sessions.
But not the one you might expect.
Third-year pro Jarrett Stidham is hosting his teammates for a multi-day summit in Orange County, Calif., dubbed “Pats West,” former NFL quarterback and current ESPN analyst Mark Sanchez revealed Thursday on Twitter.
“A majority of the Patriots’ pass-catchers” are planning to attend the meetup, which begins Sunday and will feature “several days of work,” per Sanchez.
New England boasted one of the NFL’s weakest collections of wide receivers and tight ends last season, and improving those groups has been a focus of their free agent spending spree. The Patriots doubled up on both positions this week, signing tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry and receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne.
Other Patriots pass-catchers currently under contract for the upcoming season include wideouts Julian Edelman, Jakobi Meyers, N’Keal Harry, Gunner Olszewski, Kristian Wilkerson, Isaiah Zuber and Devin Smith and tight ends Devin Asiasi, Dalton Keene and Matt LaCosse.
It remains to be seen who will be throwing those passes this season, but Stidham should be viewed as a long shot at this juncture. The 2019 fourth-round draft pick did not start a single game in 2020 even while New England’s offense sputtered with starter Cam Newton at the controls. Stidham’s only game action came in five relief appearances, during which he completed 50 percent of his passes (22 of 44), averaged 5.8 yards per attempt and threw two touchdown passes with three interceptions.
Newton re-signed with the Patriots last week on an incentive-laden one-year contract that includes just $3.5 million in guaranteed money (and won’t preclude New England from adding another QB this offseason). The veteran signal-caller is expected to be in attendance at “Pats West,” as well, per a report from the Providence Journal’s Mark Daniels.