Is it time to accept Jarrett Stidham as the future in New England?

The outsiders keep posing the question, while the New England Patriots seem to keep giving the same answer.

Jarrett Stidham, former quarterback at Baylor and later Auburn, was selected in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Patriots.

He started three games as a true freshman at Baylor in 2015 before transferring to Auburn where he was named QB1 for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. There, Stidham led the Tigers to an SEC West Division Championship after victories over top-ranked Georgia and Alabama in 2018.

He saw the field only once during his rookie season, in Week 3 against the New York Jets, taking over for Brady in the fourth quarter with a 30-7 lead. He completed 2-of-3 passes and threw a pick-6 before Brady returned.

So this offseason, after Brady bolted to Tampa Bay, the question on all of our minds has been, who will replace the GOAT after his 20 years spent in New England?

Again, the Patriots’ lack of movement could be our answer.

In the 2020 NFL Draft, the Patriots owned 10 picks and none of them were used on a quarterback. The likes of Cam Newton, Teddy Bridgewater, Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton have all been on the free agency market over the past several weeks, and New England didn’t sign any of the veteran QBs.

Because of this, Max Kellerman believes that New England will clearly go with Stidham, not because of his resume, but because of head coach Bill Belichick’s resume. And if Belichick is a believer in Stidham, we all should be.

“If Belichick believes … we’re putting a winning football team on the field – if he thinks Sitdham can be the signal caller … I believe Stidham is going to be a good starter … Why didn’t he sign Teddy Bridgewater? … There were very competent quarterbacks and Bill Belichick said, ‘No, I’m not spending a premium on that guy. I got a guy who’s probably right at that level.’ Or else he would have made a move.”

During his 20-year tenure in New England, Belichick has won six Super Bowls, becoming one of only three head coaches to do so in NFL history. He was named the NFL Coach of the Year in 2003, 2007, and 2010, and is the only active head coach named to the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.

Former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, who recruited Stidham out of high school, agrees with Kellerman, saying that Belichick is the right coach to unlock his talent.

“I remember watching his high school film. I was very high on him … The common denominator of every great quarterback is he’s on a great team … Belichick did it with Matt Cassel and he did it with Tom Brady and [Jimmy] Garoppolo.”

Even players in the Patriots locker room have bought in, including center David Andrews, who talked about how he expects Stidham to grow during his sophomore season.

“Whatever quarterback is in that room, I try to a build a bond with them … I look back on my rookie year and remember the growth I saw from my rookie season to my second year and how the game started to click … Your first year is such a whirlwind … Coach Belichick brings in great football players.”

And while New England still hasn’t firmly announced that Stidham will be the starter, FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer reported yesterday that Stidham will likely take over the job.

“[The Patriots] are certainly giving every indication that they want him to be [the starter]. I know a lot of teams liked him when he was coming into the draft. Every indication coming out of New England is how much they liked Stidham and how they were going to go with him. Whether they still bring in someone to compete with him still remains to be seen — there’s one major factor out there in Cam Newton. But they do like Stidham an awful lot. I think they are going to give him every shot to win this.”

But not everyone is so trusting of Belichick’s apparent pick as Tom Brady’s successor.

Nick Wright doesn’t think the legendary coach will be able to recreate the magic he had with Brady, a sixth round pick who eventually went on to win six Super Bowls, four Super Bowl MVPs and three NFL MVPs during his two decades with the Patriots.

In fact, Wright wonders why one of the teams that liked Stidham didn’t select him before the Patriots did in the fourth round.

“Every other team in the league had the option to spend a third round pick on him and they were like, ‘I think this developmental interior offensive lineman adds more upside.'”

We still haven’t heard from New England on its plans moving forward, but you know what they say: no news is good news.

Stidham must be ecstatic about the quiet news cycle.