After an offseason in which Jarrett Stidham had the inside track to be Tom Brady's heir apparent at quarterback, a plan later knocked off course when Cam Newton officially joined the New England Patriots in early July, it would be understandable if many figured that this is Stidham's time to step in.
So it's next man up. And that next man is ... Brian Hoyer?
That is the expectation after Hoyer has served as the No. 2 quarterback for the first three games of the season and Stidham -- who had beaten out Hoyer for that job in 2019 -- was a game-day inactive each of the first three weeks.
The story said after Newton signed, the No. 2 job still was well within Stidham's reach, however, until everything changed Aug. 20, the fourth day of training camp. After a shaky practice that day, Stidham visited a Boston hospital for tests on his leg, which came back negative. While Stidham was on the field for practice the next day, his repetitions were scaled way back. He never really recovered and never really made a strong charge.
It's a one-year "prove it" deal for Cam Newton, who missed most of 2019 with a foot injury. He completed 50-of-89 passes for one interception and no touchdowns while rushing five times for negative two yards. In 2018, he completed 67.9% of his passes and had a 24-to-13 touchdown-to-interception ratio while rushing for 35 yards a game. This looks like a great signing for the Patriots, who were obviously uncomfortable going into the season with Jarrett Stidham and/or Brian Hoyer as their only options. If Newton is fully healthy, he's a threat for QB1 numbers. He has five top 4 finishes in his career and has never finished outside the top 17 when he has played 14 or more games. The signing is good news for all of the New England offensive players (outside of Stidham/Hoyer, obviously).