New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - AUGUST 29: Jarrett Stidham #4 of the New England Patriots during the preseason game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on August 29, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By Ty Anderson,

Life after Tom Brady in New England is looking likely to begin with Jarrett Stidham under center for the Patriots.

Already considered the de facto heir to Brady’s six-ring throne, and even more with a move for veteran backup quarterback Brian Hoyer standing as Bill Belichick’s lone move at quarterback this offseason, Stidham officially projects to be the team’s logical choice at quarterback to begin the 2020 season, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe.

From Howe:

Barring unforeseen circumstances, Stidham appears to have the inside track on the starting job, which we explained following the Brian Hoyer signing. The Patriots like Stidham, but they also recognize that everyone is an unknown commodity until they step under center for the first time in live action.

Given the way Stidham has been pumped by those in and outside Patriot Place over the last year — or last few weeks in the case of some of Stidham’s teammates, including Stephon Gilmore and Matthew Slater — this isn’t a surprise. I mean, the odds alone suggest that Stidham has the inside track over Hoyer given the ceiling and what the Patriots want to accomplish.

This belief in Stidham would seemingly indicate that the Patriots are not leaning towards another move at quarterback, as noted by Howe, including drafting a quarterback in the first round (and it’s worth noting that they’d probably miss out on the draft’s top quarterback talent given their first-round positioning) or veteran options like Andy Dalton and Cam Newton. But with third-string quarterback Cody Kessler released on Wednesday afternoon, it feels that a similar depth option will eventually land in Foxborough, though likely in what was Kessler’s role as the No. 3.

The 23-year-old Stidham, who threw for 14 yards and an interception in four passes of garbage-time relief last year, enters the 2020 season coming off a 2019 preseason that featured some promising looks and a 67.8 completion percentage, 731 yards, and four touchdowns in four appearances.

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Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.