In this Sept. 22, 2019, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Jarrett Stidham, left, looks for a receiver past New York Jets defensive tackle Steve McLendon (99) in the second half of an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Credit: Steven Senne | AP

Quarterback Jarrett Stidham and five other New England Patriots players have participated in informal throwing sessions in Massachusetts, ESPN’s Mike Reiss reported Friday. Stidham is described “as the catalyst” of the group.

Reiss reported quarterback Brian Hoyer as well as wide receivers Julian Edelman, Damiere Byrd and Gunner Olszewski are among the six participants. He also reported Thursday that Stidham and Edelman were working out together “almost every day.”

The Patriots agreed to a one-year contract with the 27-year-old Byrd in March. Byrd, a 5-foot-9, 180-pounder, caught 32 catches for 359 yards (11.2 yards per reception) for the Arizona Cardinals in 2019.

The Patriots signed Olszewski as an undrafted free agent before the 2019 season. He made the team and returned 20 punts for 179 yards in eight games for New England last year.

(Stidham) worked really hard last year, was our backup quarterback the entire season,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said shortly after the draft. “I know he’s working hard in the offseason. He’s made a lot of progress in terms of understanding our offense and understanding opponent defenses like all players do from year one to year two. I’m sure he’ll get out there and be ready to go, be prepared, compete hard, and we’ll see where it takes us.”

Stidham and Hoyer are expected to compete for the starting quarterback job with Tom Brady gone.

Brady — who left the Patriots after 20 years, nine Super Bowl appearances and six Super Bowl victories — also has worked out with teammates this offseason. Brady, Cameron Brate, O.J. Howard, two backup quarterbacks practiced at Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa, according to the Tampa Bay Times.