Outside of missing most of the 2008 season with a torn ACL and the four games he sat out in 2016 as served his “DeflateGate” suspension, Tom Brady has started every possible game for the New England Patriots since early in 2001. But now he’s gone, and the Patriots have signed Cam Newton.
The Patriots were in line to start Jarrett Stidham this year, and he was of course drafted by them in the fourth round of the 2019 draft. Stidham starting this season would have kept a remarkable streak going for New England.
If (when) Newton starts a game for the Patriots this season, he will be the first quarterback not drafted by them to do so since 1993.
Drew Bledsoe was taken No. 1 overall by the Patriots in 1993, and the rare games he didn’t start from 1994-1999 were started by fellow New England drafted quarterback Scott Zolak (fourth-round in 1991). So if Bledsoe hadn’t missed four starts in his rookie season and Scott Secules hadn’t replaced him, the streak would stretch back to the last game of the 1992 season. An obscure lefty named Jeff Carlson started that game against the Miami Dolphins, the last of his two starts that season and three starts for his short career.
Zolak was around in 1992 and 1993, albeit with little to note on his resume. He couldn’t have possibly been any worse than Carlson in 1992 or Secules in 1993. So the streak of starts for the Patriots by quarterbacks they drafted could realistically stretch back into the 1992 season, if not for Carlson and Secules. Hugh Millen started seven games that season.
Cam Newton Can, And Will, End A Second QB Streak For The Patriots
If (when) Newton wins a game as the Patriots starting quarterback, an even longer streak will end. As cited by John Breech of CBS Sports, the last quarterback not drafted by the Patriots to win a game for them was Millen in 1991. Millen was drafted in the third round of the 1986 draft by the Los Angeles Rams.
Brady’s legendary run as the Patriots starting quarterback automatically puts many unique things/streaks into play. But Newton will inevitably end two remarkable quarterback streaks that pre-date Brady and Bill Belichick. If it’s not Week 1, then it will surely be soon after.