New England Patriots

NASHVILLE, TN - AUGUST 17: Brian Hoyer #2 of the New England Patriots throws a pass during a week two preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on August 17, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

By Ty Anderson,

The Jarrett Stidham Hype Train may be coming, but not everybody’s on board.

In fact, one of the top NFL insiders believes Stidham will remain on the sidelines for the New England Patriots in 2020.

Appearing on The Rich Eisen Show, the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport talked about what he believes the Patriots’ plans at quarterback are entering the 2020 NFL Draft, and gave a vote of confidence to veteran journeyman Brian Hoyer as the team’s starting quarterback next season. (It was a mild vote, of course, but it was a vote nonetheless.)

“My guess right now is Brian Hoyer is the starting quarterback of the Patriots in 2020,” Rapoport offered. “But I think that is something that will be ever-evolving as we get through next season.”

If there’s one thing Hoyer has over Stidham right now, it’s experience, as Hoyer has started 38 games over an 11-year career spent with seven different organizations. And while Hoyer hasn’t exactly thrilled as a starter — he has a 16-22 record along with 52 touchdowns with 34 interceptions over that 38-game sample as a No. 1 — it’s certainly better than the donut in Stidham’s “games started” category. Hoyer also had more experience with the system based on his career longevity alone, as his latest run with New England will be his third tour of duty at Patriot Place since entering the league in 2009.

But speaking on a conference call earlier this week, Patriots coach Bill Belichick seemed completely on board with a true quarterback controversy playing out in Foxborough when the Patriots report to camp. Whenever that may be.

“We’ve spent quite a bit of time with both Brian [Hoyer] and Stid,” Belichick said of his current quarterback competition. “I think we have a pretty good – Josh [McDaniels] and myself – certainly have a pretty good feel for both those players. The circumstances will be different this year and we’ll see how everything plays out. But again, to start with, I think the main thing is to give everyone a chance to compete, to get people comfortable with the position and the skills that they’re playing, the communication that’s involved. We’ll evaluate the players as we get an opportunity to evaluate them.”

That evaluation may include another quarterback, too, as the Patriots opened up a spot at the position with the recent release of Cody Kessler, and have done their homework on numerous quarterbacks in a draft class with some noteworthy depth.

“At whatever point we get a chance to get on the field and participate and play, then that’s what we’ll do,” Belichick offered. “But, not sure exactly how that’s going to go. Once we figure it out, then we’ll work from there.”

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.