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The New England Patriots are trading backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham to the Las Vegas Raiders, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. The Pats are reportedly sending a seventh-round pick to the Raiders along with Stidham, and will get a sixth-round pick in return.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 12, 2022
Why are the Patriots trading Stidham?
To understand why Stidham, who was a fourth-round pick in the 2019 draft, is headed to Vegas, you have to go back a few years to when Tom Brady left the Pats for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020. At that point, a little less than a year after Stidham had been drafted, it looked like he could become the man under center to replace Brady after spending the season as his backup. But then the Patriots brought Cam Newton aboard to be their quarterback, which kept Stidham out of the starting spot. Then he was bumped down to the third string after Brian Hoyer, a longtime NFL vet the Patriots signed in early 2020, beat Stidham for the backup job.
It looked like Stidham might have a chance to become the starter in 2021 after Newton spent 2020 trying and failing to get back to elite form, but the Patriots had something else in mind. They snapped up quarterback Mac Jones in the first round of the 2021 draft, and it quickly became clear that he was destined to be the starter — especially after the Patriots released Newton following an incident with a mandatory COVID-19 test.
Stidham spent his third year in the NFL as a backup once again, but even that was in jeopardy after the Pats surprisingly took QB Bailey Zappe in the fourth round of the 2022 draft.
Stidham has seen some actual game action in his time with the Pats, but nothing recent. He appeared in three games in 2019 and five in 2020, completing 24 of 48 passes for 270 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions. He hasn't appeared in an NFL game since Dec. 28, 2020.
New journey, familiar face
After three years of having his path forward continually blocked, Stidham has been freed to start a new position battle on the Raiders. He'll be competing against two other quarterbacks for the right to serve as Derek Carr's backup, but there is an upside: Stidham will be reuniting with Josh McDaniels, who served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on the Patriots while Stidham was there. McDaniels is now the head coach of the Raiders, so Stidham will have a friendly face in his corner as he starts his new journey in Las Vegas.