Not only did Tom Brady’s decision to leave the New England Patriots stun the entire sports world Tuesday morning, but the whole world just changed for Stephenville product Jarrett Stidham.
The official news that legendary NFL quarterback Tom Brady is parting ways with the New England Patriots as an unrestricted free agent leaves Stidham, a 2015 Stephenville High School graduate, as next in line on the team’s current depth chart. The only other quarterback listed on the Patriots’ official roster is veteran Cody Kessler, who was No. 3 behind Stidham before Brady’s departure.
Stidham, a 2015 SHS graduate and five-star recruit, was selected by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2019 college draft out of Auburn. He played in three games for New England as a rookie, completing 2 of 4 passes for 14 yards with one interception.
Brady’s announcement came via social media, and was followed by Twitter posts from Stidham, along with other members of the team.
Stidham tweeted, “Love you brother! Thank you for everything!”
The story on the Patriots’ official website Tuesday morning noted that Brady announced on social media that he is leaving the team and that his “football journey will take place elsewhere.” The website article, by Patriots.com writer Mike Dussault, added, “it's truly shocking that his time in New England is now coming to an end.”
Brady is a six-time Super Bowl champion with New England and was named Most Valuable Player in four of those title games. He led the Patriots to the playoffs 17 times during his 20 seasons in New England, and reached the Super Bowl an NFL-record nine times.
Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick underscored the magnitude of Brady’s departure in a statement on the Patriots’ official website that closed with the statement, “He is a special person and the greatest quarterback of all-time.”
It is unknown whether the Patriots will attempt to sign another quarterback as a free agent to add to their roster.