Jarrett Stidham Was An "Important" Signing for the Broncos

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Falcons Committed to Desmond Ridder, Jarrett Stidham Was An “Important” Signing for the Broncos, and Other NFL Bullets


As we flip the calendar to April, NFL’s free-agent frenzy is over for the most part. It’s all eyes on the NFL Draft for the next few weeks. But outside of mock drafts and prospect profiles, it’s an excellent time to look at some of the roster construction throughout the league. One of the underrated moves of the free-agent period was the Broncos’ signing of Jarrett Stidham.

  • When the Raiders decided that they were moving on from Derek Carr, they sent him home to prevent injuries that might hinder their ability to trade him. Jarrett Stidham stepped in as the starter in Vegas. In his first NFL start, Stidham had to take on the 49ers, who boasted the league’s best defense. Stidham threw for 365 yards and three touchdowns in the Raiders’ narrow loss to the 49ers in January.
  • Aside from the box score in that game, the tape on Stidham looked really good. I remember watching J.T. O’Sullivan’s breakdown (The QB School) and coming away very impressed.

  • O’Sullivan was one of many impressed by Stidham. His Raiders teammates shared the same sentiment after that game:

  • New Broncos head coach Sean Payton called the Stidham signing “quietly an important sign for us” during the league meetings in Phoenix last week:

“I think he’s young, but I think he’s someone that we had a good grade on coming out. We like the player. I think he played well in the two starts he had this year. If you study closely the San Francisco game, he’s smart at the line of scrimmage.

“And so, there were a couple of directions, really, with that position. There were a handful of No. 2s that either I had worked with or we felt comfortable with. But in this case, I think it’s a No. 2 that his arrow is moving in a direction (motions upward) where we feel like he can become an NFL starter in our league. So, the evaluation was pretty crystal clear for all of us. I think he’s someone that’s going to be great in the room. He’s smart. And, so, that was quietly an important [signing] for us.”

  • If Russell Wilson doesn’t turn it around this season, he’s likely done in Denver. The Broncos can escape his contract next offseason with a pre-June 1 cut. After the 2023 season, Wilson’s cap hit rises from $22 million to $35 million in 2024 and $55 million in 2025. So, if he’s not prime Russell Wilson, the dead money they’ll encounter against the cap is a necessary casualty of an albatross of a contract.
  • If that’s the case, is Jarrett Stidham the savior in Denver? No. However, he’s a good enough bridge between Wilson and the next franchise QB in Denver. If Wilson returns to form in 2023, they have a backup quarterback they really like for the next two seasons. So, it’s a win-win for Denver, and Sean Payton targeted Stidham as an essential piece in the Broncos’ QB room for that reason.
  • Alright, I’ll hop off of my backup QB soapbox (for now), but we’re sticking with the position. The Atlanta Falcons were a no-brainer suitor for Lamar Jackson. Or so we thought. Atlanta has since made it crystal clear that not only are they not interested in pursuing Jackson, Desmond Ridder is their starting quarterback in 2023.
  • Falcons head coach Arthur Smith said that the Falcons have “a lot of faith” in Ridder on the Rich Eisen Show:

  • Ridder completed 63.4% of his passes for 708 yards and two touchdowns in four games for the Falcons last season. Still, he helped the Falcons find ways to win against fellow NFC teams late in an otherwise lost season, which was apparently good enough to earn him the starting job in 2023.

  • So, the Bulls did a thing against the Grizz on Sunday …

  • However, the Cubs did not …

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Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.