Simms' Top 40 QBs: No. 32, Jarrett Stidham

Chris Simms explains to Connor Rogers how Jarrett Stidham landed No. 32 in the "Buzzworthy Backups" tier of his Top 40 QB Countdown, given his NFL starting-QB traits and high level of athleticism.

Video Transcript

CHRIS SIMMS: Number 32 is the last quarterback in the buzzworthy backups tier. This one might actually, I think, might surprise people.

CHRIS SIMMS: I think so too.

CONNOR ROGERS: So I'm excited for you to reveal number 32.

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CHRIS SIMMS: Yep, Jarrett Stidham, backup quarterback Denver Broncos, right? The first thing I want to say is, like, you know, and you've kind of done a great job of buttoning some of these things up. And I'm sure you have, maybe, some of the contract numbers and all of that, right? Sean Payton, last time I checked, he's a pretty good quarterback guy, just going on a whim here, right? And what did he give Jarrett Stidham as far as money to be the backup quarterback in Denver?

CONNOR ROGERS: Stidham, up front, I believe, has-- he got a $10 million contract. That base salary is about 6.5. And then the guarantees are around about, I would say, half of that.


CONNOR ROGERS: I mean, that's a good quarterback money in very short order.


CHRIS SIMMS: Better contract than Heinicke, right?

CONNOR ROGERS: In very short order, the money up front is pretty good for Jarrett Stidham.

CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, Jarrett Stidham has NFL starting quarterback traits, like, a lot of them, a lot of them. His only thing is, is that, not everybody's seen it, and he hasn't got to play a lot, right? I've always been a Jarrett Stidham fan.

I think he-- New England liked him. He got a little unlucky with injuries and things like that and didn't get to put his best foot forward there for a number of years. But there's a reason when Josh McDaniel got that job out there with the Raiders and got Jarrett Stidham right away, right? Because he went, wait a minute, I know Stidham. He can play a little bit.


Stidham, another guy like Mike White, where I'd go, he's bigger than you think. And he has an NFL power type arm, right? OK, it's not Mahomes or Josh Allen. But Jarrett Stidham arm is better than Kirk Cousins. It's better than some of the quarterbacks we'll dive into in the mid 15, 16, 17.

I mean, his arm is legit. And his ability to process and read the field is damn good too. And then the other thing I'll throw on to that is the athleticism is much better than people realize.

CONNOR ROGERS: He's a good athlete.

CHRIS SIMMS: He's a very good--

CONNOR ROGERS: And he was in college.

CHRIS SIMMS: He was. Right, like in college, I know I was working at Bleacher Report at that time. Where I remember coming out and going, you know, Stidham reminds me of like Tony Romo with the way he moves and slides and does all that.


And I mean, you know, again, I know we haven't got to see him a ton other than preseason and a little at the end of the year last year. But go back and watch those games, and you'll go, oh man, Stidham runs more than I thought. Stidham moves in the pocket makes people miss more than you think.

And he's a pretty deadeye, you know, bullseye thrower, as far as that's concerned. I really am, I'm a fan of Jarrett Stidham. And I think he's every bit as good as seeing the field and making decisions as Gardner Minshew and Taylor Heinicke. And then he has way-- and he has, I don't want to say way more, but more talent than that them. He just-- not everybody's gotten to see it, because he hasn't got to play. And that's what I'm here to do this list

CONNOR ROGERS: And you could argue [INAUDIBLE] got week 17 against the Niners, which is a great game.



CONNOR ROGERS: And week 18 against the Chiefs. You could argue that two game stretch got him this two year, $10 million contract.

CHRIS SIMMS: Definitely.

CONNOR ROGERS: Because if he never plays, he's not looking at a better contract than what Mike White got.

CHRIS SIMMS: No, no, probably not. That contract, see like, Sean Payton probably still would have wanted him. But that those last two games drove up the price, for sure.

CONNOR ROGERS: Yeah, it's like, one year 3 and 1/2 million, versus two years 10.

CHRIS SIMMS: Exactly. It's like, oh, I showed a little bit. There's a market for me now. So now you've got to pay me. You can't just like go on, oh, you know, I know because I talked to Josh McDaniels and New England coaches, and I've seen the preseason.


And I liked him when he was coming out of college, right? So he was probably, yeah, hoping he could sneak that into his roster. But Stidham had other plans.

And then here's the other thing too. You know, like I said, the borderline power arm, he's got sneaky quick release. The more I watch, the more I went, man, when he wants to get the ball out of his hands, he can really do it quickly, right?

And then has that ability where, I kind of talked about with, like, Gardner Minshew, throwing off the back foot, more throws that are impressive with people around him and under pressure than maybe I even gave him credit for. Where it's, oh, there's Davante Adams and a 20 yard crosser, and people are around him. And he's kind of have his feet cockeyed, but he sees him open, and he just turns his shoulders and throws it out there.

He does a lot of that stuff. He's got very good mechanics. And I'm a big fan of Jarrett Stidham. If he gets on the field.


CONNOR ROGERS: Let's have the conversation.

CHRIS SIMMS: This is one that could be interesting. He is going to be a hot poker up Russell Wilson's ass this year.

CONNOR ROGERS: If Russ isn't better than what we saw last year.


CONNOR ROGERS: And I think, I mean, the way Sean Payton has talked publicly about some of the things that went on with Russ last year.

CHRIS SIMMS: It's shocking.

CONNOR ROGERS: The patience-- it is shocking.


CONNOR ROGERS: The patience level seems that it's at a very low bar right now.


CONNOR ROGERS: I mean, is there a chance that we could see Jarrett Stidham this year?


CHRIS SIMMS: I mean, if Russell looks the way he did last year and has a four or five game stretch like he did last year, I mean, again, Russell was really bad last year. It's shockingly bad.

CONNOR ROGERS: Hey, look at the schedule up here. I mean, it's easy out of the gate. But obviously, when you're in this division, you're going to run into the gauntlet eventually.

CHRIS SIMMS: Exactly. No, listen, they're going to give Russell every shot here. I mean, we know that. They paid too much money. He's the guy.

But this is like, if you falter or get hurt, this is the guy that can make life, yeah, interesting, and make life fun for guys like you and me who talk about it all the time, because Stidham is well-schooled. He knows how to read defenses, execute an offense.


There's a reason New England, again, and Josh McDaniels liked him. And there's a reason Sean Payton likes him, because he knows all those things too. He knows it. That's why he spent that money on the guy. And he'll be able to run that-- the one thing we don't know about Russell is, can he really run a system?


CHRIS SIMMS: It's a little bit system, and then I want to be backyard Russell. And it's like--

CONNOR ROGERS: That drove Seattle nuts, didn't it?

CHRIS SIMMS: It drove Seattle nuts.

CONNOR ROGERS: Quietly, it felt like it drove them pretty crazy.

CHRIS SIMMS: It drove them nuts. Now, he got it done. But I think we're getting to a point in his career where the rubber meets the road. And I don't think the backyard stuff's going to work all the time.


CHRIS SIMMS: So you got to start working the system and being a machine in the pocket and throwing. And you know, OK, this is a tight window, but I got to throw it in there. You don't have the luxury of, I'm going to buy some more time in the pocket and wait for somebody to be more open, right?

Stidham is going to be like, you know, Brady, Garoppolo-like and just be like, well, one, two, three. Oh, you told me to check to this. I'm on it.

Oh, you said if this guy does this, to throw the ball on the 20 yard route right and the over under there? OK, I'm going to do it. And he's going to be really good, and he's going to impress Sean Payton with that stuff. So this is definitely, I don't want to say anything to watch for a quarterback controversy. But if there was something to happen, I think this is a guy that can make things very interesting.

CONNOR ROGERS: It'll be fascinating to watch Denver who, with Sean Payton, I mean, I'm not going to say there's going to be an overwhelming amount of urgency to win year one. But I also think he's made a lot of moves for that offense in the off season that he's going to want to do things his way.

CHRIS SIMMS: He wants to get it going.

CONNOR ROGERS: It's his way.

CHRIS SIMMS: Right, his way. I think the first impression is extremely important to all coaches, but especially a guy like Sean Payton, who knows he's making big money. I'm a Super Bowl-caliber type of coach. He wants to set the narrative right now, this year, kind of what he did in New Orleans.

What'd they do the first year in New Orleans? Went to the NFC Championship game, lost to the Bears. So yeah, he made some drastic moves to get that team back on track. But like you said, it's the AFC West. And there's a gauntlet there that you got to deal with.