With Tom Brady officially signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Patriots are now in transition at the most important positing in football. Second-year signal caller Jarrett Stidham beat out Brian Hoyer last summer and served as Brady's back up in 2019, while Cody Kessler was added to bring a veteran presence behind Stidham.
Stidham seems like the early favorite to take over for Brady, but nothing is assured. He'll have to win the job and perform well to keep it. Kessler was a sponge last season and has 12 career starts under his belt. It's not a terrible place to start from when it comes to the impossible task of replacing the GOAT.
With just these two quarterbacks under contract there will surely be at least one more addition, perhaps even two, but of what variety? A castoff veteran starter? Another veteran back up like Kessler? A high- or low- round rookie? There are a lot of options.
This week's Samsonite Make Your Case question of the week is…
Should the Patriots add a veteran quarterback?
Mike Dussault says…
While Stidham showed promise and Kessler serves as good veteran insurance behind him, you can simply never stop throwing options at the wall until you have a cemented starter at quarterback. I don't think the team should pursue expensive former starting veterans like Andy Dalton or Cam Newton. That would throw off the dynamic of an open competition and possibly hinder Stidham's development, not to mention handcuff the team financially.
But a former backup like Mike Glennon who's never quite gotten a shot? Or an intriguing backup who's stuck toiling behind a long-term starter like the 49ers Nick Mullens? If they're willing to take a low-money deal or a trade can be worked out, then it makes sense to throw them at the wall with Stidham, Kessler and a rookie draft pick and let the competition play out.
Until someone seizes the job the Patriots should consider any and all quarterback options who could fit in financially and schematically.
Paul Perillo says …
To be clear, my first preference would have been to keep Tom Brady and ride out the twilight of the GOAT's career. But since that is no longer an option, I believe it's time to start the rebuilding process immediately.
To that end I feel the best way for that to happen is to ride with Jarrett Stidham and use the money that would have gone to the quarterback position to add some younger players that will be part of the future. Bringing in a veteran quarterback like Cam Newton or Andy Dalton would cost a lot of money, likely in the $17 million-$20 million range. And at the end of the day the team wouldn't really be much closer to a championship than it is today.
Stidham may not prove to be the answer at quarterback, and truthfully anyone who replaces Brady will have a hard time dealing with the pressure that goes with that anyway. But by using a young affordable option, Bill Belichick can use the resources saved to start the Patriots next dynasty rather than to spin the wheels with a veteran retread.
Stick with Stidham.