With some down time before training camp, we're inspecting the Patriots roster position by position. Today, an examination of the QBs.
Brian Hoyer, Danny Etling
Jarrett Stidham (rookie)
At one point, it seemed absurd to think that any QB, even Tom Brady, could play elite-level football in the NFL after age 40. Now, coming off his NFL-record sixth Super Bowl victory, Brady continues to defy the expectations of Father Time, and it seems ludicrous to think he can't eventually win his seventh (with some help from his teammates, of course).
Once again, though, New England's quarterback fortunes are questionable beyond Brady. The current depth chart at quarterback includes Hoyer, returning for his 11th NFL season and the third year of his second stint with the team. Second-year passer Etling spent the entirety of 2018 on the practice squad and even got the chance to travel to some road games with the team.
The former seventh-round draft choice faces some competition this year not only from Hoyer, but also 2019 fourth-round pick Stidham. Hoyer might still retain his backup role by virtue of his valuable experience in this league, but either of the two younger men could vault past him with a strong showing this summer. Etling gets the slight advantage over the rookie given his year of experience in New England's system, but none of these men can be counted out at this point. It's unlikely, however, that all four make the final roster.