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Bill Belichick backs Jarrett Stidham’s progress in wait-and-see Patriots QB room

Bill Belichick discussed New England’s depth chart Thursday on NFL Network.

New England Patriots v Tennessee Titans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Four quarterbacks are under contract with the New England Patriots, and head coach Bill Belichick plans to see where a depth chart comprised of Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer, J’Mar Smith and Brian Lewerke leads.

“That’s where we are, and you never know what’s going to happen down the road,” Belichick told Rich Eisen during NFL Network’s schedule release Thursday evening. “But we feel like we have four good players there. We added Brian and J’Mar to Hoyer and Stidham. We added Hoyer and had Stidham last year. We’d like to work with all those guys and see how it goes.”

Louisiana Tech’s Smith and Michigan State’s Lewerke signed with New England as rookie free agents at the end of April. And the previous April, the war room called Stidham’s name at pick No. 133 overall in the NFL draft.

The 23-year-old Auburn transfer from Baylor earned the second seat in the QB room behind Tom Brady by the close of his initial preseason.

Stidham’s audition gave way to the veteran departure of Hoyer, 34, who would return to the organization in March after spending one campaign with the Indianapolis Colts.

“Stid worked really hard last year as our backup quarterback the entire season,” Belichick said. “I know he’s working hard in the offseason. He’s made a lot of progress in terms of understanding our offense and understanding opponents’ defenses, like all players do from Year 1 to Year 2. I’m sure he’ll get out there and be ready to go, be prepared, compete hard, and we’ll see where it takes us.”

The Patriots are scheduled to open the 2020 regular season against the Miami Dolphins. Kickoff at Gillette Stadium is set for 1 p.m. ET on Sept. 13.