Grading Patriots-Raiders Trade: Josh McDaniels reunites with former QB pupil Jarrett Stidham in Las Vegas

The New England Patriots and Las Vegas Raiders swapped picks on Thursday in a trade centered around QB Jarrett Stidham.

The New England Patriots and Las Vegas Raiders decided to make some news together on Thursday ahead of the NFL’s annual schedule release bonanza, swapping a pair of picks in a trade that also included quarterback Jarrett Stidham. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Patriots will send Stidham and a seventh-round pick to the Raiders for a sixth-round pick.

Grading the Patriots-Raiders trade for Jarrett Stidham

The trade is a nice little deal between the Jedi master (Bill Belichick) and former Padawan apprentice (Josh McDaniels). The Patriots were clearly ready to move on from Stidham, McDaniels’ former pupil in New England, and the Raiders were in need of a long-term backup for franchise QB Derek Carr. So, the two parties decided to make the trade magic (or fodder, depending on your interest).

Let’s grade the trade.

New England Patriots

Well, after selecting Bailey Zappe in the fourth round of last month’s draft, the Patriots had little need for Stidham, a fellow fourth-round pick from the 2019 NFL Draft. Stidham briefly carried the torch to be Tom Brady’s potential successor in New England for a cup of coffee, but quickly proved he wasn’t the guy in 2020.

The Mac Jones era started off strong, and the Patriots decided to develop a new long-term backup in Zappe this offseason. Plus, they already have longtime clipboard-holder Brian Hoyer in the room. Stidham was always going to be the odd man out, and getting an upgraded pick for him in May, instead of nothing at all in September, is a nice little nugget for New England.

GRADE: A

Las Vegas Raiders

McDaniels knows Stidham better than anyone, so if he feels that the QB was worth a flier, who are we to judge? But it’s worth noting that he was among the brain trust in New England that decided to bench Stidham in 2020. That said, maybe McDaniels believes Stidham is a good fit as a backup, given his potential intangibles.

In Las Vegas, Stidham — who already is familiar with McDaniels’ offense — will battle Nick Mullens and Garrett Gilbert for the backup job. That’s not really a gauntlet of challengers by any means. Stidham is younger than both Mullens and Gilbert, and also cheaper. At worst, he’s a solid No. 3 option for McDaniels.

GRADE: B

Jarrett Stidham

Instead of heading to the waiver wire, Stidham gets reunited with his former mentor. The situation could be much worse, right? Given his familiarity with the offense and its play-caller, Stidham could have a leg up in the backup competition. Gilbert is another former Patriot, but he never actually saw game time under McDaniels like Stidham did.

GRADE: B

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