The New England Patriots are nearing the close of a disappointing 2020 season that resulted in missing the playoffs. Much of which the central focus lies on the Patriots‘ struggles under center with Cam Newton. The attention has shifted over to Jarrett Stidham, who remains behind Newton on the depth chart. Longtime Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has clarified the matter that didn’t sound too positive concerning Stidham’s future in New England.
Patriots continue to roll with Cam Newton
The hope entering the 2020 season was that former Pro Bowl quarterback Cam Newton could recapture his Pro Bowl form with the Patriots.
Instead, Newton’s first year has unraveled in a discouraging manner as he has struggled to play with any consistency. Since the first two weeks of the season, he has experienced significant difficulty passing the ball. Newton is currently 26th with 2,381 passing yards, 34th with five passing touchdowns, and 29th with a 45.0 quarterback rating.
In many ways, Newton has been a liability passing the game that has contributed to the team becoming more one dimensional led by the running game. He has shown the ability to make plays with his legs, especially in goal-line situations with 11 touchdowns.
With the Patriots officially eliminated from the playoffs, it now begs the question as to why New England is still rolling with him as the starter. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels may have shed a bit more light on the entire situation.
Josh McDaniels reveals Jarrett Stidham’s Patriots future is stark
The million-dollar question around the Patriots remains on why the team is still electing to start Cam Newton.
Head coach Bill Belichick continues to evade questions about the quarterback position from reporters. However, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels may have just cleared up what Belichick and the Patriots coaching staff truly think of Jarrett Stidham. (H/T Yahoo Sports)
“That’s [Belichick’s] decision and I honor whatever he makes, in terms of those choices,” McDaniels said. “We work as hard as we can to get everybody ready to go. I’ve seen plenty of Jarrett in practice. I see him every day. So I’ve seen him for two years. I’m confident I understand where Jarrett’s at in his development. But I also know that our job is to try and go out and win two football games that we have left. So that starts with Buffalo Monday night.”
Stidham hasn’t had much in the way of playing time this season with Newton in tow. Instead, he has ridden the pine only to receive game action when New England is in a blowout situation. There hasn’t been much in the way of what the team publicly thinks of him, but McDaniels’ comments shed light on the belief he’s still developing.
Any indication of how far along the Patriots believe Stidham is remains up in the air, but it’s clear it’s not far along enough for him to get playing time in the final two regular-season games. If anything, it gives off the vibe that they are not even confident enough to put him in that setting when the playoff aspirations are out the window.
Patriots’ quarterback situation remains uncertain
The Patriots have zero clarity when it comes to their quarterback situation after the 2020 season.
The assumption is that Cam Newton won’t be back, given how poorly things unfolded with him leading the charge. Meanwhile, Jarrett Stidham hasn’t provided the franchise with enough confidence to play in meaningless regular-season games.
The entire situation may push Bill Belichick to finally draft a quarterback in the first round. The Patriots could explore the market around the league to acquire another proven talent to step in under center next season.
All of this guides New England forward into uncertainty centered on their future at the quarterback position.