Keeping Up with the 617: A future without Tom Brady

As much as I don’t want to believe that title above, the prediction is inevitable: Tom Brady can’t play forever. The day he retires will cast a dark shadow on New England, yet us Pats fans need to prepare for a future without his weekly domination over this league. Here are two solutions to fill the gaping hole Brady will leave following a saddening retirement speech:

Jarrett Stidham

Coming into the 2019 NFL Draft, analysts predicted that the Patriots would draft a quarterback with one of their many early-round draft picks. In the fourth round at pick 133, the Patriots selected Jarrett Stidham, a successful quarterback from Auburn University. During an extensive training camp, Stidham impressed Bill Belichick and company, eventually receiving a 53-man roster bid to open the season, beating out NFL journeyman Brian Hoyer and fan-favorite Danny Etling. After his surprising upgrade to a backup role to start the season, fans were beckoning the team to put him in during a blowout. Stidham finally received his chance in Week 3 and proceeded to put on a terrible display. Simply put, he looked like he didn’t belong in a Patriots uniform. To be fair, his skill set is raw and still early in his development; let’s not be so hard on him yet. If Brady *gulp* eventually decides to retire, Stidham needs to be ready to handle the constant heat and pressure from this passionate fan base. Learning the Patriots system will be difficult; however, if Brady lasts two to three more years, Stidham should be ready for a role in the offense and hopefully will maintain success in New England for years to come.

Keep role players and sign key free agents

Signing hotshot free agents is a common occurrence in New England. Whether it’s Randy Moss, Darrelle Revis or Antonio Brown (this one still stings), big-time free agents are attracted to this town. Belichick must trade or sign free agents to continue the reign of this dynasty. Stidham and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels won’t be able to field a competent offense in future years if they have no weapons at their disposal. Additionally, the Patriots should continue to develop young receivers such as Jakobi Meyers and N’keal Harry while also re-signing key role players such as Julian Edelman and Dont’a Hightower. Although many Pats fans believe that Brady is the key to successful seasons in Foxboro, the coaching staff plays a major role in the championship seasons. Belichick utilizes all players on the roster to win a game — it doesn’t matter the position or talent of the player. If the Patriots can keep role players in the locker room once Brady retires, then New England Patriots football should be saved.

No matter how much TB12 Method he uses, Brady’s muscles and talent will eventually subside. Although his retirement will be a sad day for New England, the Patriots should have enough at their disposal to continue their winning seasons. Let’s just hope Stidham turns out to be a competent quarterback or else this fanbase will have his head.