Dec 31, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Jarrett Stidham (4) attempts a pass in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos starting Jarrett Stidham at QB in finale

The Denver Broncos announced that Jarrett Stidham would remain the starting quarterback for the Week 18 finale Sunday against the host Las Vegas Raiders.

Russell Wilson will again serve as QB2.

Stidham led Denver to a 16-9 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. However, the Broncos (8-8) were eliminated from playoff contention by virtue of Kansas City’s win over Cincinnati.

“No. 1, our job is to score,” Payton said Monday. “We had opportunities (Sunday) … that’s the first thing. I thought Jarrett did a good job after seeing the tape, with his decisions, ball security, all the things you want to see from that position. … A lot of positives to build off of.”

Stidham’s start in Week 18 could also signal the end of Wilson’s short tenure in Denver. Payton benched Wilson this past week for football reasons, looking for a spark, but reports last week surfaced that the Broncos don’t want to risk injury to Wilson in the event they decide to release him in the offseason.

Stidham, 27, threw for 224 yards and a touchdown against the Chargers, earning his first victory in the NFL after 15 career games (three starts).

Wilson, 35, has completed 66.4 percent of his passes for 3,070 yards and 26 TDs against eight interceptions in 15 starts this year. He has not experienced the level of success he reached in Seattle, where he went 104-53-1 as the starter, throwing for 37,059 yards and making nine Pro Bowls in 10 seasons from 2012-21.

–Field Level Media

Dec 3, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) and quarterback Jarrett Stidham (4) run out on the field before playing against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Broncos bench Russell Wilson, turn to Jarrett Stidham

The Denver Broncos are benching Russell Wilson in favor of backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham this week against the Los Angeles Chargers, ESPN reported Wednesday.

While that report indicates a performance move, dueling reports from NFL Network and Pro Football Talk said Wednesday that the Broncos are giving serious thought to shutting Wilson down for the final two games to avoid injury, given his contract situation.

Regardless, Stidham draws the start under circumstances that are quite similar to a year ago, when he was with the Las Vegas Raiders, who opted to bench starter Derek Carr under a similar premise.

At issue is Wilson’s long-term future with the Broncos, given his massive contract and mediocre results.

Wilson has a $37 million injury guarantee for 2025 that vests in March and would become unavoidable if Wilson suffered an injury in these last two games and failed a physical, per the reports. That was the scenario last year for Carr and the Raiders, who traded him in the offseason to New Orleans.

The Broncos (7-8) are hanging on to extremely slim playoff hopes, currently the 12th seed in the AFC. They have lost three of their past four games after a five-game winning streak thrust them back into the playoff chase. Denver has a 6 percent chance of making the playoffs, per The New York Times’ playoff scenarios.

Broncos head coach Sean Payton said Tuesday that the offense wasn’t close to being “good enough” under Wilson.

“So many times, when we look at some of that stuff, it’s self-inflicted problems,” Payton told reporters Tuesday. “That has to get cleaned up. That’s communication. That might be having to reduce — is there too much in? Right now, we’re average to below average in a lot of things offensively, and it’s not good enough.”

Wilson, 35, has completed 66.4 percent of his passes for 3,070 yards and 26 touchdowns against eight interceptions in 15 starts this season. He has failed to be the quarterback for the Broncos that he was in Seattle, where he went 104-53-1 as the starter, throwing for 37,059 yards and making nine Pro Bowls in 10 seasons.

Stidham, 27, has appeared in one game this season, mop-up duty in the Broncos’ 42-17 loss at Detroit on Dec. 16.

He went 0-2 starting for Carr last year in his only two NFL starts. He has thrown for 926 yards and six touchdowns against seven interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Aug 4, 2022; Canton, Ohio, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jarrett Stidham (3) celebrates his touchdown in the second quarter with quarterback Derek Carr (4) during the Hall of Fame game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders to park Derek Carr, start Jarrett Stidham vs. 49ers

The Las Vegas Raiders benched Derek Carr to start Jarrett Stidham for the final two games of the regular season in what could be the beginning of a changing of the guard at quarterback.

Coach Josh McDaniels said the Raiders are eager to evaluate Stidham and outlined plans for the final two games, which include making Carr inactive on game day. Chase Garbers will be the No. 2 quarterback.

Carr, 31, signed a long-term deal before the season with guarantees of $40.5 million if he’s injured. The guarantee triggers Feb. 15, written in his contract as “three days after the Super Bowl.”

Carr has an NFL-leading 14 interceptions, including nine in his last five games. He was picked off three times in Las Vegas’ 13-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday.

Stidham, 26, will make his first career start for the Raiders (6-9) on Sunday against the visiting San Francisco 49ers. (11-4). Las Vegas still is mathematically alive for a postseason berth, but it will need to win both of its remaining games and receive plenty of help.

Oddsmakers shifted the line for the game immediately, bumping the 49ers from 5.5-point favorites to 10 points during the QB announcement.

Stidham has completed 8 of 13 passes for 72 yards in three games this season and 32 of 61 for 342 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions in 11 career games with the Patriots and Raiders. He was selected by New England in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

“We’re gonna go ahead and start Jarrett the last couple of games of the season here,” McDaniels said. “None of us is happy with where we’re at, but we think it’s an opportunity to evaluate a younger player who hasn’t had much time to play.

“Talking to Derek, who was great, he understands the scenario that we’re in, the situation. Very supportive.”

This will be the fourth game Carr has missed in nine NFL seasons.

Carr signed a three-year, $121.5 million extension in April and is under contract through 2025. But the Raiders would save $29.25 million trading or releasing Carr prior to the deadline date on which his roster spot guarantees the next two years of his agreement. Carr does have a no-trade clause in his contract.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Carr has completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 3,522 yards and 24 touchdowns in 15 games this season.

Carr has thrown for 35,222 yards with 217 touchdowns and 99 interceptions in 142 career games since being selected by the Raiders in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

Jun 15, 2021; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Jarrett Stidham (4) participates in a drill during the New England Patriots mini camp at the New England Patriots practice complex. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham has successful back surgery

New England Patriots quarterback Jarrett Stidham had successful back surgery earlier this week, according to a report from NFL Network. The veteran is expected to be out of commission for approximately 12 weeks.

The nature or severity of the back injury has yet to be reported or disclosed by the team. At the start of camp, he was placed on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list for “pain in his right shoulder and back while throwing the football,” per an earlier report from The Athletic.

If his recovery proceeds as scheduled, he should be available to return to provide quarterback depth in mid to late October.

Stidham, 24, was expected to be the No. 3 quarterback behind Cam Newton and rookie Mac Jones this season.

He has appeared in eight games in his career for the Patriots after being drafted in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, throwing for 270 yards and two touchdowns with four interceptions.

On Wednesday, the Patriots claimed Jake Dolegala off waivers from Green Bay. Dolegala should compete with veteran Brian Hoyer for a roster spot this preseason.

–Field Level Media

Published Caption:  Patriots quarterback Cam Newton looks for a receiver in the first half against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon. [The Providence Journal / Kris Craig] Original Caption:  Patriots quarterback Cam Newton looks for a receiver in the first half against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon.

LEDE 2

Reports: Hand injury slows Patriots QB Cam Newton at practice

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton appeared to injure his right hand during the voluntary organized team activity, according to multiple reports Friday.

The training staff reportedly examined Newton’s hand halfway through the session and the former MVP did not return.

First-round draft pick Mac Jones, third-year player Jarrett Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer took repetitions in Newton’s place.

Newton, 32, re-signed with the team on a one-year deal in March after going 7-8 and passing for 2,657 yards, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions in his first season with New England in 2020.

The Patriots selected Jones with the 15th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Jones, 22, passed for 4,500 yards, 41 touchdowns and just four interceptions while leading Alabama to a national championship last season.

Stidham, 24, was drafted in the fourth round out of Auburn in 2019. He has completed 24 of 48 passes for 270 yards with two touchdowns and four picks in eight games (zero starts) over the past two seasons.

Hoyer, 35, is eying his third stint with New England after playing with the club from 2009-11 and 2017-18.

–Field Level Media

2019 NFL Draft Preview – QB

Despite the weight of a uniquely never-ending draft grind, there’s something poetic about the start of a new collegiate cycle that attracts a total spectrum of fans, from the educated onlookers to the full-blown draft degenerates (such as myself).
As such, we proceed with a detailed evaluation of my introductory positional rankings – coming out one group at a time, beginning with quarterbacks.
So, to (inaccurately) quote the great Matthew McConaughey: “I’ll write, I’ll write, I’ll write.”
 
QUARTERBACK
Overview:
Five teams selected a first-round passer in the 2018 class and my suspicion is that it was a partial indictment of the potential 2019 crop. Presently, we’re faced with a quarterback class asking numerous questions of evaluators – who only seem to agree about being unable to distinguish who will emerge on top.
Simply put, there are a handful of quarterbacks with the potential to rise above the class, but most require a step-forward season in 2019 in order for that to happen. This year’s preseason quarterback evaluation requires more projection than most years I’ve studied the NFL Draft, which personally elicits equal levels of excitement and indignation.
1. Jarrett Stidham, Auburn (6’3″ 215lbs.)
• Will be hit with the ‘system’ tag, but he completes a high degree of attempts and rapidly immersed himself in Gus Malzahn’s intricate passing offense. I don’t see a quarterback with better ‘feel’ for his position in this class right now.
2. Justin Herbert, Oregon (6’6″ 225lbs.)
• Possesses all of the tantalizing physical traits evaluators want in a franchise passer: size, arm and athleticism. Also boasts a smooth delivery and statistical accuracy. If he takes the next step this season it’ll be tough to value another passer more.
3. Will Grier, West Virginia (6’2″ 214lbs.)
• The ex-Florida Gator was highly prolific throughout his first season in Morgantown, forming a good connection with stud receiver David Sills. Everything’s on a rope; makes NFL-esque window throws, but needs to learn that not every pass needs to be a bullet.
4. Drew Lock, Missouri (6’4″ 225lbs.)
• Ticks all of the prototype passer boxes, possessing ideal size, arm talent and an ever-present inclination to push the ball downfield. Must overcome issues relating to accuracy (both in-game and statistical), but did suffer from receiver drops last year.
5. Brian Lewerke, Michigan State (6’3″ 215lbs.)
• Underclassmen who must drastically improve accuracy, but showed plenty of promise in his ten-win Sophomore campaign. Moves through reads in rapid-fire. Will take a hit to deliver an accurate pass. Nice pocket footwork, but liable to hurt a defense with them too.
Honorable Mention: Ryan Finley, North Carolina State (6’4″ 210lbs.)
• Boise State transfer with prolific aerial numbers. Major positive is his compact, lightning-quick release and decisive style – always aware of quick-read options and fall-back outlets. Has many physical tools at his disposal. Downfield ball placement is inconsistent.
 
Find me on Twitter: @NFLDraftUpdate