What Reported Jarrett Stidham Trade Means For Patriots, Quarterback

It's a fresh start for the 25-year-old QB


May 12

Once viewed as a potential successor to Tom Brady, Jarrett Stidham wound up never starting a game for the New England Patriots. Now, he gets a fresh start in a familiar system.

Multiple reports Thursday morning indicated the Patriots were finalizing a trade to send the fourth-year quarterback to the Las Vegas Raiders, reuniting him with former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. New England reportedly will receive a sixth-round draft pick in the swap, with Las Vegas getting back a seventh-rounder.

For the Patriots, the deal removes one body from a suddenly crowded QB room, along with improving their late-round draft capital and freeing up a negligible amount of salary cap space. For Stidham, it’ll provide a much clearer path to a roster spot than he would have had in Foxboro.

A Stidham trade or release became an inevitability after the Patriots opted to draft Western Kentucky signal-caller Bailey Zappe earlier this month.

As a fourth-round pick, Zappe will be locked into a roster spot as long as he’s not an abject disaster in training camp. The Patriots also aren’t cutting veteran backup Brian Hoyer after re-signing him to a two-year contract that included $3 million guaranteed, and carrying four quarterbacks on their 53-man roster would be an unwise use of resources.

So Stidham, who logged eight relief appearances over his three Patriots seasons and didn’t dress for a single game in 2021, quickly became the odd man out.

The destination wasn’t a surprise, either, as McDaniels’ Raiders and Nick Caserio’s Houston Texans always looked like the most logical suitors for the 25-year-old Auburn product. Stidham now will have an opportunity to battle Nick Mullens and fellow ex-Patriot Garrett Gilbert for the right to back up longtime Las Vegas starter Derek Carr.

For the Patriots, the QB intrigue now shifts to the competition between Zappe — who set NCAA records for passing yards and touchdowns last season and is renowned for his intelligence — and Hoyer for the No. 2 spot behind Mac Jones.

All eyes will be on Jones, as well, as he looks to make a Year 2 leap under the tutelage of a new-look Patriots coaching staff that does not feature a single assistant who has either worked directly with quarterbacks or called offensive plays at the NFL level. Joe Judge and Matt Patricia — whose areas of expertise are special teams in defense, respectively — are expected to spearhead that effort in McDaniels’ absence.

Undrafted rookie D’Eriq King also will be a player to watch in training camp. He’s listed as a quarterback — the position he played at Miami — but said the Patriots plan to have him do “a little bit of everything” as he vies for a roster spot.

Stidham attempted a total of 48 passes in a Patriots uniform, completing 24 for 270 yards and two touchdowns with four interceptions. He’s the second member of the Patriots’ 2019 draft class to be shown the door this offseason (after edge rusher Chase Winovich, who was traded to Cleveland for linebacker Mack Wilson) and likely won’t be the last.

Wide receiver N’Keal Harry, cornerback Joejuan Williams, offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste and defensive tackle Byron Cowart all are on the roster bubble, and running back Damien Harris and punter Jake Bailey, though valuable Patriots contributors, could be trade candidates if some of New England’s rookies impress this summer.

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones
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