In the recent offseason, the New England Patriots decided to keep backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo despite receiving interesting offers from multiple NFL teams. It’s crystal clear that the Patriots are eyeing Garoppolo as Tom Brady’s replacement. However, the four-time Super Bowl MVP announced that he won’t be retiring after the 2017 NFL season, making Garoppolo’s situation in New England complicated.
After winning his fifth Super Bowl LI championship, Patriots QB Tom Brady was frequently asked if the 2017 NFL season will be his last. In a recent interview, Brady received the same question and revealed that he has not yet thought of an NFL retirement. He said I’m “faster now and quicker now than when I first started playing football,” explaining that he’s faster now at age 40 than when he was just 18-years-old.
Brady’s revelations sound good for the Patriots fans, but not for Jimmy Garoppolo, who’s been waiting for a consistent chance to start. As of now, there is no doubt that Garoppolo is ready to become a starting QB and replace Brady. However, with Brady’s intention to play more years, he may consider taking his talent somewhere else.
Jimmy Garoppolo is entering the final year of his rookie deal and set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He’s expected to be targeted by numerous teams who are in dire need of a quarterback. However, the Patriots will likely use a franchise tag on Garoppolo to keep him a little bit longer.
According to SB Nation’s Pats Pulpit, if Tom Brady will not retire after the 2017 NFL season, the Patriots could tag and trade Jimmy Garoppolo. New England is expected to demand first-round picks and use it to draft their new backup quarterback. As the report noted, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has used the same strategy in past years.
“Belichick trading Garoppolo and drafting his replacement fits the pattern of what he’s done throughout his career as a head coach/GM. In the Tom Brady era, Belichick has never renewed the contract of any non-Brady QB he drafted. Only two veteran backup QBs have stayed on the team for a full year, Damon Huard from 2001-03 and Doug Flutie in 2005. Belichick always wants to draft his backups so that he can mold and teach them while they are in a developmental stage,” according to the report.
The 2018 NFL draft will be loaded with promising quarterbacks like Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Josh Allen. Lamar Jackson, Mason Rudolph, and Baker Mayfield are also expected to be on the Patriots’ radar if ever they really decided to move Jimmy Garoppolo.
As of now, it remains unclear if the Patriots will move Garoppolo or give him a pricey extension to continue as their backup quarterback. Expect more rumors to circulate about Garoppolo, Tom Brady, and the Patriots’ quarterback situation until the 2018 offseason approaches.
[Featured Image by Jim Rogash/Getty Images]