The Patriots are setting themselves to have an unstoppable offense, having traded for WR Brandin Cooks. With Cooks now in the fold, the Patriots boast arguably the deepest and most talented receiving corps in the AFC, if not the entire NFL. The Patriots will be counting on Tom Brady to have one of his best seasons at Age 40 to try to win their 6th Super Bowl in 17 years and 2nd time in that run going for a 3 out of 4.
With Brady turning 40 in August, it’s even more important than ever to have a quality backup. The team has one in Jimmy Garoppolo, who looked very good in 6 quarters of play in 2016. Garoppolo has three years in the system and knows the offense well. With one year of team control plus the franchise tag, the Patriots could turn Garoppolo into a trade chip for a boatload of picks or whatever Cleveland is offering. In my opinion, that’s a huge mistake.
Brady is still the undisputed starter and face of the franchise, but you never can predict injuries. Brady does an excellent job of avoiding the big hits in or out of the pocket which is why he’s been able to play for a long time. Brady did spend 5 weeks on the injury report with a knee injury during the season and Brady doesn’t recover as fast as he did when he won his first Super Bowl at Age 24. There could come the day where Brady gets crushed by a linebacker and the team needs to find someone to play under center.
The Patriots keeping Garoppolo as a backup is like having a quality health insurance policy. You never hope to need to have to use it to cover a catastrophic injury or illness. In the Patriots case, that injury would be Tom Brady going down for the season. With the amount of offensive and defensive talent on the roster, the Patriots remain a contender with Jimmy G under center although winning a Super Bowl becomes more difficult. The Patriots believe they have a young, quality QB in the 25-year-old Garoppolo and could face a tough decision to replace the face of the franchise like Belichick did in 2001 with the Brady-Drew Bledsoe controversy.
In a league driven by quarterbacks, the Patriots have a valuable asset in Jimmy G. If the Patriots believe Garoppolo is capable of being a franchise QB, they would be crazy to let him leave the building at all, even if the Browns offered their entire 2017 draft. The value of having a franchise QB is tremendous and the Patriots haven’t had any QB issues since 1993. We as fans have no idea how long Brady will keep playing and if there’s a succession plan at QB already in place. The fact the Patriots haven’t put Garoppolo on the market is very telling.