Jarrett Stidham claims he isn’t thinking about whether Tom Brady will be back in New England

Mike Florio
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

If Tom Brady exercises his prerogative to move on from the Patriots in free agency, Jarrett Stidham potentially becomes the starting quarterback, in only his second season. Stidham claims he’s not thinking about that.

“Right now, I can’t really think too much about all of that,” Stidham told Mike Reiss of ESPN.com on Friday. “I have to worry about what I need to do to prepare to enhance my game, to learn as much as I possibly can. That’s the biggest thing I’ve focused on, making a big stride from Year One to Year Two.”

Spoken like a true Stepford Patriot. But, surely, Stidham realizes that he could be the successor to the best quarterback in team and league history.

Then again, maybe it won’t be Stidham. Plenty of veteran quarterbacks will be available in free agency, through potential trades, or the draft. Just because the Patriots supposedly “like” Stidham (which is sort of obvious given that he’s on the roster), they may not be ready to entrust him with running the offense — especially when players like Teddy Bridgewater (5-0 as a starter in 2019), Cam Newton (2-0 lifetime vs. Patriots), and restricted free agent Taysom Hill (mobile quarterback with untapped potential) may be available.

Hill is the most fascinating of the bunch. If Drew Brees stays with the Saints and New Orleans applies a first-round RFA tender to Hill, the Patriots could easily make Hill an offer the Saints couldn’t or wouldn’t match. The question is whether Bill Belichick would be willing to give up a first-round pick to pilfer Hill.

But if Brady is moving on, it could be time to revolutionize the offense with the kind of quarterback that often given the Patriots fits. And Hill could indeed fit the bill.

So, really, Stidham shouldn’t be thinking about Brady leaving. Stidham should be thinking about who will be arriving, if Brady’s gone.

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