It remains to be seen how the New England Patriots are planning to address their quarterback conundrum this offseason.
Without confirmation, it does seem relatively certain that 2020 starter Cam Newton will not be back with the team after his one-year deal expired, though some teammates have recently opened up about endorsing a reunion with the 31-year-old vet.
Whatever the case, the fan base is largely torn about whether the Patriots should draft a rookie in the first round, trade for an established star or sign another stopgap option in free agency.
It goes without saying that taking to the draft would give current backup Jarrett Stidham the most clear-cut opportunity to compete for the starting job, and his recent social media activity indicates that he’s putting in the requisite work to seize that opening if it’s presented to him.
Per his latest Instagram post, the 2019 fourth-rounder has been working with highly regarded quarterbacks coach Jordan Palmer, who famously helped Chiefs superstar Patrick Mahomes refine his mechanics during the early stages of his career.
Patriots fans are split down the middle in terms of believing Stidham has the potential to be the starter, and his small sample size of opportunities over his first two seasons would suggest that he doesn’t.
However, if you read Palmer’s glowing review of the former Auburn star from last offseason, it’s clear that he thinks Stidham has all the tools at his disposal to become a successful franchise quarterback.
In hindsight, predicting immediate stardom for someone who seemed unprepared for the spotlight in 2020 doesn’t reflect well on Palmer’s ability to evaluate young gunslingers, but he wouldn’t speak so highly of Stidham if he didn’t at least believe there was potential just waiting to be unleashed…right?
Assuming the 36-year-old quarterback guru’s comments came from a place of sincerity and bluntness, you really can’t help but wonder if Stidham has what it takes to take over the reigns of the Patriots’ offense.
We’ve personally seen enough from Stidham over the last two seasons to the point that we’d prefer to see somebody else under center next season, but that takes nothing away from the impressive nature of him already grinding ahead of what will likely prove to be a make-or-break preseason for the 24-year-old signal caller.
Two Auburn QBs were expected to be standouts entering 2020, and neither one presented Bill Belichick with much of a reason to believe. Though not every quarterback has the innate ability of Patrick Mahomes, one would hope we’d see at least a sliver of this supposed starpower from Stidham in 2021.