The Patriots are releasing backup quarterback Cody Kessler accoring to a report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, leaving them with Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer as their only signal callers. Hoyer was brought back just last week and is expected to serve as a veteran mentor to Stidham.
Kessler was signed in late September, released after three games for which he was inactive, then re-signed two weeks later. He spent the remainder of the season as the third quarterback.
It was expected the Patriots would be in the market for another quarterback in the NFL Draft later this month and now, with only two on the roster, it's even more likely that the team will look to round out their depth at the most important position in the game.
How early in the draft they plan on drafting a QB remains to be seen, though Stidham appears to have the inside track as the heir apparent to Tom Brady. A high-round selection could change that dynamic, while a lower-round pick would provide quality depth and a developmental player to eventually replace Hoyer or perhaps compete with Stidham.
For more on the potential options at quarterback in the draft take a listen to the first episode of the Patriots Draft Prospect Review, just published earlier today.