Replacing Tom Brady: The Odds & Best Bet To Be Patriots QB
For the first time in nearly two decades, Tom Brady is not the starting quarterback of the New England Patriots.
That’s because he’s not with the New England Patriots.
Who Will Be the Patriots Starting QB in Week 1?
All odds are current as of publication and subject to change.
Bookies.com breaks down the field and makes a pick on the line.
Where The Pats Stand Now
When Brady announced his NFL-shaking decision that he’ll be suiting up for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, that left Jarrett Stidham, a second-year pro out of Auburn. Stidham has four career pass attempts — he’s 2-for-4 for 14 yards with a pick-six.
New England added to its QB corps by signing Brian Hoyer, who was cut by the Colts on Saturday. Hoyer was with the Patriots but was waived after being beaten out by Stidham for the No. 2 spot last preseason.
That doesn’t sound appealing for the Pats, especially when there are established veterans available right now. But Stidham was great in the 2019 preseason and was considered an “heir apparent” last year, and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels gushed about the then-rookie’s leadership traits.
Josh McDaniels talks QBs.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) August 26, 2019
On Brian Hoyer: “Great for us. Great for Tom ... As good a leader as I’ve seen as a backup quarterback.”
On Jarrett Stidham: “He makes mistakes every day, like they all do as rookies, and he gets better. ... He has a great attitude. A great mindset.” pic.twitter.com/j7biZnBPbc
Who Else Is Out There
There are three free agents, among them an NFL MVP and Super Bowl runner-up quarterback, the man who finished No. 2 in the NFL in touchdown passes last year and a three-time Pro Bowler.
Jameis Winston was second in the NFL in TDs with 33 and led the league with 5,109 yards, but also led the league by a wide margin with 30 INTs. His aggressive (read: questionable) decision making may not be what Belichick is looking for. Andy Dalton has been successful in nine seasons in Cincinnati, but his two worst seasons have been the last two.
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According to several sources, the Patriots have little to no interest in Winston or Dalton at this juncture.
Cam Newton might be another story. He has MVP credentials and has been shouldering a load for Carolina without much of an offensive line to protect him, or a defense to slow the other team. He’d have both of those in New England. If Newton can pick his team, New England is a good bet. And if Belichick is going to dip into free agency, it might be for Newton.
NFL.com reported the Patriots would be adding a QB to the roster post-Brady, but was in no hurry to find a Brady replacement.
Days later, New England signed Hoyer. If this is what was meant by “adding a QB,” then Stidham is the choice.
Devin McCourty, the leader on the Patriots’ top-ranked defense, is in Stidham’s corner based on what he has seen out of him.
"To me, there were weeks where he was just on point," McCourty said. "And those were some of our best weeks as a defense, mainly because Stiddy ate us up in practice leading up to the game, and I think put more pressure on us. So I really admire just how hard he works, and then I've got to know him off the field as well. He's a really good guy. Young guy, but very mature. He's married. I think the Stidhams are going to be in New England for a long time."
Regarding Newton, as much as the Patriots would want to bring him in, the team is currently $4 million under the cap. That’s a fraction of what it would cost to bring in Newton. Belichick would have to tear apart his top-ranked defense to do so.
It wouldn’t surprise anyone if Belichick went with familiarity over someone new and flashy. I think he likes Stidham enough to give him a one-year trial run. Stidham is a solid choice at +200.