The New England Patriots’ quarterback room nears the summer break with two locks.

One of those locks is coming off his sixth Super Bowl victory and is scheduled to carry a cap number of $27 million into the final year of his contract with a base salary of $14 million. As for the other lock? That’d be the 11th QB New England has selected since Bill Belichick returned to the war room as head coach in 2000.

Tom Brady and Jarrett Stidham are eras apart. Now they find themselves in the same one.

Both will celebrate birthdays this August, with the former turning 42 and the latter turning 23. Both will be on the active roster this September, with Brady entering his 20th NFL season and Stidham entering his first. But for every commonality there is a contrast. Be it pre-star or five-star recruit. Be it Michigan or Auburn product. Be it No. 199 or No. 133 overall draft pick.

Time will tell whether there is company.

New England has entrusted a rookie as Brady’s lone understudy twice over the past decade. In 2009, Michigan State undrafted free agent Brian Hoyer found himself the second and final quarterback on the roster. And in 2014, Eastern Illinois second-round pick Jimmy Garoppolo became the next following Ryan Mallett’s trade to the Houston Texans on cutdown day.

It’s possible such a scenario could play out again.

Hoyer, who has been around the league and back, will have to put his experience above Stidham’s projection. But the Patriots have shown confidence in numbers when it comes to the 33-year-old Hoyer. He has an upcoming base salary of $2.8 million, a cap number of $3 million and $1.5 million guaranteed remaining on his deal.

That reflects the strong roster outlook of a veteran backup who has started 36 career games. Hoyer has appeared in 10 games since returning to Patriots in the fall of 2017, and gone 5-of-8 passing for 49 yards with 15 kneel-downs in the process.

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