6. Signing QB Jarrett Stidham
Heading into free agency, I was a huge advocate of the Denver Broncos going after a young player at the quarterback position. Specifically, I was hoping for them to add a young player with some upside. Given the fact that there were a couple of former top picks available (Baker Mayfield, Jameis Winston) as well as a recent third overall pick (Sam Darnold) as well as some other intriguing guys, I was hopeful the Broncos would take some kind of "shot" on a player.
Especially with Sean Payton in the building, this kind of move made a ton of sense. Payton isn't really known for developing QBs since people erroneously discount what he did in New Orleans because of Drew Brees, but Payton has had his hand in bringing along a few different quarterbacks. He got the best out of guys like Teddy Bridgewater, Jameis Winston, and even Taysom Hill.
The guy Payton wanted and the guy he said was "quietly" an important signing for the team was Jarrett Stidham, who was potentially in line to start for the Las Vegas Raiders this coming season. As a matter of fact, the Raiders might be kicking themselves for not offering something to Stidham when they had the chance, given the fact they missed out on Tom Brady and may have a major problem on their hands with Jimmy Garoppolo.
Stidham showed some decent things in his first few years with the Patriots before getting traded to the Raiders. He's always shown talent, but what he did against the 49ers late last season really caught everyone's attention. Stidham's huge game against the league's no. 1 overall defense earned him a two-year deal worth $10 million from the Broncos, and even at a relatively high price tag, I think that's a move that has flown a bit under the radar.
Stidham might have a future as a starter in the NFL. At the very least, it's a significant move to upgrade the team's backup QB situation.