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Bill Belichick Hints At His Week 17 Starting Quarterback

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick in Miami.

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 15: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on against the Miami Dolphins during the third quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick replaced Cam Newton with Jarrett Stidham during the second half of last night's blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills. The move opened up some questions about who would start in Week 17.

After all, the Patriots are eliminated from playoff contention, and have nothing to play for in their final game against the New York Jets. Why not play Stidham and obtain some more data on him to evaluate, while protecting Newton's health in a meaningless game?

Well, Belichick doesn't seem to see things that way. His comments this afternoon indicate he's leaning toward keeping Newton as his QB1.

On WEEI today, Belichick said Newton "did what we asked him to do" in Monday night's loss and he "would imagine" the onetime league MVP will start against New York on Sunday.

Considering Newton is signed on only a one-year deal and he struggled for much of this season, it doesn't appear that he is the quarterback of the future in New England.

However, if Belichick isn't willing to give Stidham a cursory start in a Week 17 game with nothing at stake, well there's no doubt about what that says for the second-year pro's future with the Patriots as well.

New England will take on the Jets at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.