While the New England Patriots were forced to move their offseason workouts to a virtual setting due to the Coronavirus pandemic and social distancing regulations implemented in Massachusetts, two of the most important players on their roster have reportedly still found the time to regularly meet this offseason: quarterback Jarrett Stidham and wide receiver Julian Edelman have been working out together, according to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss.
The report came in the aftermath of a social media post by former Boston Red Sox utility player and current Milwaukee Brewer Brock Holt, who apparently has been spending time with Edelman. Stidham shared the picture with the simple caption “we’ve been at it...where you at bro?” to create speculation that maybe the young quarterback and the veteran wideout have been working on their chemistry over the course of the offseason.
Turns out that they have. According to one of the Reiss’ comments underneath the original Twitter post, Stidham and Edelman have “been regularly working together as both have been based in Massachusetts.” Another comment by the Patriots beat writer, meanwhile, stated that the two would be “seeing each other almost every day” — something that is happening despite current regulations making close contact between players difficult.
The Patriots are certainly banking on the two men developing a rapport with each other: with future Hall of Famer Tom Brady leaving the team in free agency earlier this offseason, second-year man Stidham is projected to take over as New England’s new starting quarterback. Edelman will be back for his 12th season with the team, meanwhile, and will once again fill a sizable role in its passing game and offensive operation as a whole, and also as a leader within the locker room.
While the two have been working together behind the scenes both this offseason and over the course of Stidham’s 2019 rookie campaign, they have yet to register any significant in-game reps alongside each other. The only time they were on the same field in a game setting came during last year’s preseason finale against the New York Giants, when Stidham and Edelman shared five snaps in the lineup — one of which resulting in a 20-yard pass connection.
With Brady gone, the Patriots will look for more of that in 2020. At least when it comes to putting in the work to make it happen, the two appear to be off to a good start.