During his tenure as head coach of the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick has seen it all. From the greatest quarterback switch in NFL history to scandals, and the greatest Super Bowl comeback. The one thing they all have in common is Belichick’s fingerprints. Win or lose, Belichick is at the forefront of each success or failure of the Patriots. What makes him so special is his eye for talent and success for working a system. However, according to The San Francisco Chronicle, one former player thinks he may have just made the biggest mistakes as coach of the Patriots by agreeing to trade Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers a little over a month ago.
Tom Brady is 40 years old and while he’s still performing at a Pro Bowl level, how long can he continue this? No athlete has ever beat Father Time and maybe Belichick thinks Brady can. That is the only way to explain the trade, right? Garoppolo was set to become a free agent in 2018 and that would have placed the New England Patriots in a tough spot. Do you offer Garoppolo a cheap contract just to stay with a promise to play in another two seasons or do you let him walk for nothing? Belichick made the best decision he could for the Patriots and Garoppolo.
All Jimmy Garoppolo has done in San Fran is give the fans and the team hope for the future. Nothing big, right? Garoppolo took a 1-10 team, led them on a four-game winning streak (with the possibility of five after Sunday’s game against the Los Angles Rams), and gave the 49ers brass reason to believe in 2018. While Garoppolo offered nothing to the Patriots this season, it’s 2019 Belichick forgot about. Or did he?
Belichick has been labeled many things throughout his career but the one that has stuck is his one-track mind.
— Patriots Nation (@NEPatsNation12) December 29, 2017
Think about a few of the moves he has made while in New England. The Randy Moss, Corey Dillon, Vince Wilfork, LeGarrette Blount, and Wes Welker situations are just a few that comes to mind. Belichick doesn’t care about the long game, he sees the big picture which is the present. His job is to win a Super Bowl every year, not plan for five years down the line. The one constant is plans has been Brady and Rob Gronkowski. To him, any player can thrive as long as they trust in the system.
That reason alone is why the Garoppolo trade will not tarnish Belichick’s legacy. As long as Brady is healthy this season, then Belichick still comes out looking like a genius. Think about that. He has the Patriots on target for another Super Bowl appearance while also providing the 49ers with a bright future. He’s leading two teams at the same time.
Could this move come back and haunt the New England Patriots? Yes, but it won’t haunt Belichick. This has been his outlook since day one. Play for the present, not the future.