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Oddsmakers sure think so, pricing last year's fourth-round pick as the overwhelming favorite to take the first snap of the post-Tom Brady era. Here are the odds for New England's 2020 starting quarterback battle, which will likely come down to two former Auburn signal-callers who've taken wildly different paths.
It became even more clear this week when former Bengals starter Andy Dalton signed with the Cowboys to be a backup, likely passing up millions of dollars and a starting gig elsewhere. The Patriots were as short as -135 to sign Dalton, which was admittedly a goofy line, but it's still a positive sign for Stidham when the betting market saw Dalton as a shoo-in for the job.
While Brian Hoyer's familiarity with the Patriots organization seems intriguing, Stidham is the only quarterback still on the roster from a year ago, and all reports out of New England indicate he's the starter. If this line was even as short as -300, I'd suggest pouncing on it. At -500, it's a bit too tight. But it'd take a stunning turn of events for Stidham to lose this job.
The only realistic way Stidham isn't taking the first snap of 2020 is if the Patriots take a chance on Newton, who would be arguably the most physically gifted quarterback Bill Belichick has ever coached in New England.
The former MVP isn't as mobile as he once was, and injuries have cast doubts on his once-rocket arm, but a healthy Newton would still give the Patriots their best chance of repeating as AFC East champions. If New England wants him, would he sign? Newton has no intention of being as a backup, per The Athletic's Joe Person, which could complicate his immediate path to starterdom.
If the Patriots promised him the starting gig, Newton would likely sign tomorrow. That doesn't seem like a Belichick move, though, so the better bet is to stay away altogether. Unless Newton changes his approach to free agency, it'll likely be the Stidham show in New England.
C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.