"I think he is legitimate. He is going to be the leader of New England for a long time, whenever that starts. Go ahead and jump on that bandwagon.”
Jarrett Stidham is really the unknown in New England right now. There's been great debate amongst Patriot fans, insiders, and analysts about whether or not Stidham could be the future quarterback of the New England Patriots when Tom Brady either retires, or as early as this season if Brady does decide to sign somewhere else rather than with the Patriots.
I will fully admit that in my eyes it's always been tough for me to see Stidham as a starting quarterback, but there's no denying that back in the year 2000 when Tom Brady was drafted nobody was sitting on their couch claiming that Brady was going to be the greatest quarterback to ever play the game, and that he would bring six championships to the Patriots.
As we're all pretty aware, Stidham had very limited regular-season work. While he was on the field it didn't look great, but it is fair to say that he had a great pre-season. When you look at the statistics compared to Jimmy Garoppolo's first preseason with the Patriots, Stidham actually out shined him. So as a Patriots fan, does that give you enough hope that Stidham could one day lead New England to the promised land?
Jordan Palmer who's been working with Stidham since he was about 16 years old believes that Stidham is a great quarterback, and that one day he's going to lead the New England Patriots. That may be unbelievable for some Patriot fans to here, but here's the Palmer had to say about Jarrett Stidham:
“To be clear, I think he is a star, and he is going to be a big-time franchise quarterback,” Palmer said, unprompted, as per Jeff Howe of The Athletic. “I have felt that way for a couple years now. I’m totally fine saying that. I don’t care that he went fourth round (of the 2019 draft). I think he is legitimate. He is going to be the leader of New England for a long time, whenever that starts. Go ahead and jump on that bandwagon.”
For the casual fan, it may be tough to take the opinion of Carson Palmer's brother serious, but Jason is actually known as a bit of quarterback Guru, and according to Jeff Howe of the athletic, Palmer's work with some of the best quarterbacks in the NFL today.
"This isn’t empty praise from Palmer, the younger brother of former No. 1 overall pick Carson Palmer. Since playing for six NFL teams from 2007-14, Jordan Palmer turned toward a post-playing career as a private quarterback coach for QB Summit in California. He’s worked with Stidham since he was 16 years old. Palmer’s other full-time clients include Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, Bills quarterback Josh Allen, Heisman Trophy winner and projected No. 1 pick Joe Burrow and projected first-round pick Jordan Love. Palmer has also previously worked with Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, while Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, Rams quarterback Jared Goff and Broncos quarterback Drew Lock have made their way through QB Summit as well. So again, Palmer has a qualified eye for talent." - Jeff Howe, The Athletic
I don't know enough about college football to confirm this, and I can tell you that I wasn't watching Jarrett Stidham before he was playing for the Patriots, but if you were to believe Howe, some analysts and people who evaluate college talent believe the back in 2017 Jarrett Stidham could have been a number one overall pick. Ultimately his big regression in 2018 decimated Stidham's draft status, and he dropped all the way down to the fourth round before the Patriots claimed him last year.
What Howe point's out in his article is, you have to understand the context of the 2018 season to really understand why Stidham's performance dropped so drastically.
"Auburn lost SEC Player of the Year Kerryon Johnson to the draft, five of its top six offensive linemen to the draft or graduation and two starting receivers to torn ACLs in spring ball." - Jeff Howe, The Athletic
I get that it's difficult to think of Jarrett Stidham as a starting quarterback, but again like I already mentioned, it was difficult to imagine Tom Brady being a starting quarterback. If Brady did walk away from the Patriots this season, Bill Belichick has some options to replace him. Belichick can turn to the draft and get somebody like Jordan Love or Jacob Eason. He could look at some of the possible veterans are available like Marcus Mariota and Andy Dalton, there's even the possibly of Philip Rivers. But, maybe Bill Belichick believes that he can catch lightning in a bottle twice, and give Jarrett Stidham the opportunity and see if he can prove everybody who doesn't believe that he's a starting quarterback wrong.
It's also very difficult to map out and put an exact timeline on how and when a player will come into his own, and at this point in time, Jordan Palmer isn't ready to lay out a timeline for Stidham, but he did point out that Jarrett Stidham could be a good fit for the Patriots system because the offense is constantly evolving, and because of their ability to reshape themselves year in and year out, then the Patriots could build their system to fit Stidham.
“I don’t think it’s finite and specific enough to say this ought to take a couple months and you’ll be good,” Palmer said. “I think it’s an ongoing process that continues to evolve. In New England, it doesn’t appear they took Tom Brady and after five or six years said, ‘OK, he’s got the offense,’ and stopped evolving. I think they continue to evolve right now. I don’t think it’s about getting him to a certain point. I think it’s about continuing to push the limits of Jarrett in terms of his understanding, what he can acknowledge, what he can execute and what he can continue to repeat over and over again.”
If you were to believe the stories that are out right now, according to multiple reports, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots aren't close to signing a new deal. So the question has to be asked, could we see Jarrett Stidham as the next starting quarterback of the New England Patriots?