There was always a chance that 2019 draft pick and current New England Patriots quarterback Jarrett Stidham could be deemed surplus to requirements this summer. Veteran and one-time NFL regular season Most Valuable Player Cam Newton remains on track to start over rookie Mac Jones, and journeyman Brian Hoyer is also on the depth chart and can be a mentor for the first-year pro.
Stidham's future with the Patriots is even more in question ahead of the weekend, as NFL Network's Ian Rapoport tweeted Friday the 24-year-old underwent surgery on Wednesday to repair a back injury. As of now, Stidham is set to return "in roughly 12 weeks or so," meaning he could begin the regular season on injured reserve.
The Patriots recently claimed quarterback Jake Dolegala off waivers from the Green Bay Packers likely to serve only as an extra arm for training camp, but Stidham's absences could provide Dolegala with enough opportunities to possibly steal a roster spot. Somebody has to be left without a figurative chair when the music stops, and Stidham could be that somebody if Jones impresses throughout camp and upcoming preseason games.