When you think of the New England Patriots over the past decade and a half one position on the field has been consistent, quarterback. Tom Brady has been a franchise quarterback for the Patriots since 2001. But many wonder how many more years does Brady has left and who will be the next quarterback of the Patriots when he’s gone? The guy many think will take that job if Jimmy Garoppolo. But after starting for 6 impressive quarters for the Patriots, other teams may be intrigued to have Garoppolo as their starter now as supposed to later. Some fans believe it would be best for the Patriots to keep Garoppolo because he already knows the system and if Brady would have to retire due to age or an injury Jimmy would be ready to go Day 1. Others know that the value of even a decent quarterback is high in the NFL and the Patriots can look to improve other positions. I’m here to break it all down for you.
Let’s start by finding out what Garoppolo is worth. Teams, as of late, have taken high risks to find a good quarterback. The Rams gave up two first round picks, two second round picks, and a third round pick to select Jared Goff 1st overall in last year’s draft. Jared Goff has only started one game in the NFL. The Eagles gave up two first rounders, a second rounder, a third rounder, and a forth rounder to acquire Carson Wentz 2nd overall in last years draft. Wentz has definitely been the better quarterback but he at least got the opportunity to start the entire season, unlike Goff. The Texans took a chance on former Broncos backup quarterback Brock Osweiler signing him to an insane 4 year 72 million dollar contract. Osweiler has yet to live up to that contract and has struggled for most of the year. The Vikings even gave up a 1st and a 4th rounder to get Sam Bradford who despite having a fantastic defense in Minnesota, has only led the Vikings to a .500 record. So, if these acquisitions show any indication of how desperate teams are to find a franchise quarterback, Garoppolo should be a hot commodity.
Now the next question should be whether or not these teams can pick up a franchise quarterback in the draft. Looking at the class coming in, there definitely not any quarterbacks will the skill set of Andrew Luck, Jameis Winston, or Marcus Mariota. I use these quarterbacks as an example because they’re all skilled quarterbacks who were drafted with top 2 picks. The top quarterbacks in this years class are most likely DeShone Kizer, Mitch Trubisky, and Deshaun Watson. Kizer is only a redshirt sophomore and isn’t 100% committed to entering draft either. In my opinion, Kizer could use an extra year Notre Dame but since this class is rather weak, he would still probably go high in the draft. He’s got the size, speed, and the arm to make it into the NFL but his mechanics and accuracy are way off. Mitch Trubisky is my favorite quarterback in the draft at this point. He’s a steady quarterback in the pocket and he can really drive the football down the field. His issue is sensing pressure and moving out of the pocket. He’ll make silly mistakes trying to extend plays but I think with a little help he can fix those issues. As for Deshaun Watson, I thought at the beginning of the year that Watson would be going first overall. He racked up great stats in his sophomore season but this year lots of concerns have been brought to my attention. He’s very sloppy with the ball and forces passes that aren’t there. Even with a great receiver like Mike Williams on his team Watson has taken a step back from last year. When he’s on his game he can be the best quarterback in college football but he’s going to have to transition from the spread offense he runs at Clemson. Teams in need can go and develop one of these quarterbacks but there’s no guarantee of these young men will become franchise players. That can only add to Garoppolo’s value.
Now if your a Patriots fan you may have bad memories about trades especially after the Jaime Collins and Chandler Jones trades that recently went down. In both these trades the Patriots seem to end up on the short end of the stick. So we know that there may be value for Jimmy but what exactly are teams are willing to give up? According to multiple NFL executives, they believe that the Patriots can get a 1st rounder and maybe something else if the Pats would execute a trade. The possibilities of the what the Patriots can get with these picks are endless. They can acquire a shutdown corner, a much needed guard or tackle, or even a pass rusher to improve the team’s pass rush. The Patriots can significantly improve the team now and for the future or they can miss and draft a complete bust. Teams like the Browns, Cardinals, Bears, 49ers, and the Jets will all have high picks that they may want to give up in order to get Garoppolo.
Now the biggest question that will factor into Garoppolo’s future with the Patriots is how much longer Brady will play. Brady’s no longer the comeback kid that he once was at the beginning of his career. He’s 39 but shows no signs of slowing down. So how much longer can he play? A year ago Brady said in an interview that he wants to play for 10 more years if he can. If that was true than it should be a no brainer for the Pats to trade their backup. But we also saw Peyton Manning crash at age 39 after a nagging back injury. One big hit and Brady’s career may be in jeopardy and without Garoppolo the Patriots wouldn’t have the advantage of an experienced guy ready to take over the reigns.
There’s a lot of risk at play here but it brings up an interesting conversation none the less. We all know that Belicheck has a great pulse on player personnel and knows much more than you or I. Garoppolo can end up being like a Steve Young, when he took over for Joe Montana and was able to keep the classic 49ers dynasty going for a few more years. Or he can end up being like an Alex Smith and take over the starting role of another franchise. Whatever the Patriots end up doing it will make a huge impact on the NFL.