Tom Brady is the New England Patriots' undisputed starter. He is a four-time Super Bowl champion, a future Hall of Famer and even at almost 38 years old one of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League.
Nothing lasts forever, though – not even Brady's spectacular career will. The day will come when someone has to succeed the three-time Super Bowl MVP under center. Due to Brady's current four-game suspension for his alleged role in the Deflategate scandal/farce, this day might even come as soon as opening day of the 2015 NFL season.
According to NFL.com's Marc Sessler, however, the Patriots and their fans will not have much to worry about should Brady a) miss games in 2015 due to his suspension (he probably won't anyway) or b) decide to call it quits (whenever that may be). Sessler ranked each team's backup quarterback and the Patriots' Jimmy Garoppolo checks in at number four:
4. Jimmy Garoppolo, Patriots
Too high? Not in my book. I'd much rather have an athletic young backup with upside than some 39-year-old game manager. Garoppolo was intriguing last preseason and played well in relief of Brady in a Monday night collapse against the Chiefs. I'm convinced he'll perform well again if Brady's four-game suspension sticks. New England does an outstanding job of preparing young players and Garoppolo showed good decision-making last season. He isn't afraid to throw the ball downfield and we're talking about a coach, in Bill Belichick, who milked an 11-win season out of Matt Cassel.
Sessler ranked the backups based on whom he would "pick to start a game today" and on experience, recent tape and team situation. Only three quarterbacks are rated higher than Garoppolo, who appeared in six games in his 2014 rookie year: Mark Sanchez (Eagles), Mike Glennon (Buccaneers) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (Jets).
What do you think? Is Jimmy Garoppolo one of the best backup quarterbacks in the game?