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#pounditFriday, May 24, 2024

Jarrett Stidham is a starting quarterback’s worst nightmare

Jarrett Stidham in a knit cap

Nov 13, 2023; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Jarrett Stidham (4) leaves the field after a game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Jarrett Stidham has been put into the same position for the second straight year — and it’s an ominous one if you’re a starting quarterback.

On Wednesday, the Denver Broncos announced that Russell Wilson was being benched for Stidham in Week 17. The Broncos said they were making the move because they feel Stidham can give them the spark they are looking for. But most people believe the Broncos have an ulterior motive.

The Broncos likely have plans to cut Wilson in March and absorb the massive salary cap hit for his contract in 2024 in order to start fresh in 2025. Moving Wilson to a backup role would increase the chance that he avoids an injury, thereby allowing him to pass a physical. If Wilson were to suffer an injury that would prevent him from passing a physical, he would receive a huge financial guarantee for 2025 in addition to the money he is guaranteed to receive in 2024. That’s a situation the Broncos would like to avoid.

Sound familiar?

This is the exact same tactic the Las Vegas Raiders used last season when they benched Derek Carr for the final two games of the regular season. And who was the player who started in Carr’s place for the Raiders? You got it — Stidham.

Stidham passed for 656 yards with 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions in his two starts last season, but the Raiders lost both games. Denver is hoping Stidham can lead them to a pair of victories to finish the regular season.

The Raiders eventually cut Carr, who signed with the New Orleans Saints. The Raiders then signed Jimmy Garoppolo during the offseason. The Broncos appear likely to end up with a new QB next season, just like the Raiders did.

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