Off the Record (OTR)

Is Garoppolo the next Brady?

There has been a ton of speculation about what the New England Patriots are going to do with backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. On one hand, the little bit that we’ve seen from him has been very good. He looks really sharp.

On the other hand, you have Tom f*cking Brady, who doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all. He still has plenty of arm strength and who cares that he can’t move around like he used to because he could never move around. I don’t care if Dan Marino in 1984 is backing him up, you don’t move on from Brady until Tom Brady says so.

But, Bill Belichick is a lot of things, but stupid he’s not. High-level quarterbacks are incredibly difficult to come by. So, if you’ve got the next Brady waiting in the wings behind Brady, you don’t let him go. There aren’t enough first-round draft picks out there to give up a franchise quarterback. Ask the Cleveland Browns.

Mike Giardi of CSN New England quotes numerous folks around the NFL as to why the Patriots haven’t bitten on a Garoppolo trade:

Scout 1 (AFC) — “He’s Bill Belichick. He doesn’t give a [damn] about what you, or me or anyone else thinks. I know teams called about Garoppolo. I don’t believe they were ever given a realistic price. Why? To me, the answer is simple: Bill thinks he’s got the next great one. I watched his snaps. I think he can be that. [Garoppolo] has a great base, and his mechanics are close enough to [Brady] that you appreciate his willingness to learn and the coaching he’s gotten there.”

Scout 2 (AFC) — “I absolutely loved the kid coming out of college. When we interviewed him, [it was obvious] he’s got those qualities you want in a QB, as a leader. I begged our guys to take him at the end of the first round. That’s how good I thought he was then. He’s a hell of a lot better now. The job Bill and [offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels] have done with him, the work he clearly has put in, wrap all that up and it makes all the sense in the world to keep him. They can win with him. That’s all you need to know — in my opinion — as to why they kept him. The moment that Brady guy starts to show cracks, the next guy is in already there, already knows the locker room, the system, the environment. I think it’s genius.”

Former Pats player — “I played against him every day in practice. He’s all that.” Why? “He can make all the throws. He can process all the information. He is a gamer. He can slow it down. He can spin it. I’m going tell you this, if he had gotten traded to Cleveland, they’re a borderline playoff team. I really believe that.”

Scout 3 (NFC) — “I know teams called and got nowhere. Easy conclusion is they see Garoppolo as the next QB. But I think it could be as simple as the value there. He’s the player one snap away. Weigh that against the third guy (Jacoby Brissett) or some vet and maybe it was just too wide a gap to risk it. Keep him. See how the year plays out and then decide, do we want to franchise him? Ink him to some kind of bridge deal? Or let him go off into free agency?”

Front Office (AFC) — “Bill knows something we don’t. That’s the way I read it. Whether it’s Brady’s future, or what they didn’t see in Brissett, or something about the makeup of Garoppolo, he just couldn’t part company with him. I can’t say as I blame him. Finding one good QB in this league is hard enough. Two? Maybe only a handful of teams in the league can say they have that. Plus, with Bill, he’s not worried about coaching for his job. He can think big picture — two, three, four years down the line. That’s not something too many other coaches/front offices in this environment get. He can afford to pass on a handful of draft picks to keep a player he really likes.”

And that’s all well and good and is probably true. But, just get ready to open up the check book. They are going to have to keep franchising Garoppolo as long as Tom Brady is Tom Brady. It could get so expensive that they ask Brady to take a pay cut so that they can afford his backup.

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