By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Patriots are releasing quarterback Brian Hoyer as part of their final roster cutdowns on Saturday, per multiple reports. That means rookie Jarrett Stidham is officially Brady's backup for the 2019 season.
Stidham was 18-for-28 passing for 225 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in Thursday's preseason finale against the New York Giants. He tossed two TDs to veteran receiver Demaryius Thomas.
The fourth-round pick out of Auburn has proven that he has the arm to make a variety of throws, but still has work to do in terms of his decision-making and processing speed in game action. But the hope is that Brady avoids a major injury and plays the entire 2019 season. This will give Stidham a chance to develop for a year without having to worry about shepherding the Patriots to a Super Bowl as a rookie.
Essentially, the Patriots are in the same situation as they were in 2014, when they carried Jimmy Garoppolo as Brady's only backup. It's a good sign that the Patriots really believe in Stidham's potential to become a future starter.
Hoyer, meanwhile, will likely be able to find a job elsewhere. He provided value to the Patriots with his scot team work and game-planning with Brady. But the Patriots have one of their deepest rosters in years and needed to preserve their depth at other spots.
There's also the possibility that Hoyer re-signs with the team in a few days. If they want to place a player on IR with the designation to return, they need to name him to the initial 53. They may want to do that with rookie OL Hjalte Froholdt and/or Yodny Cajuste, which would reopen a spot for Hoyer.
All goes well, Brady is the only QB we see from here on out anyway.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].