Feb 5, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) in the third quarter against the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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I’m in a variety of sports groups and live in New England, a region that football isn’t a priority but the Patriots have changed that narrative a little. When Jimmy Garoppolo got drafted 51st overall in 2014, the homers (and I mean homers, honks, etc.) booed the selection. They said, “That pick could’ve been a player that will actually play,” well look at that #PatriotsLogic was wrong again, but that’s not what this is about. This is about Jimmy in the present, the Jimmy that is now the new heartthrob, and a chip for what could decide the fate of the franchise for years to come.
In many situations similar to this, the team has usually sided with the younger QB, and rightfully so, that’s the right decision. But Tom Brady is defying father time in ways not done in the NFL, ever. All the QB controversies below, many of which the team(s) chose correctly, but many the younger guy:
GB 2007: Brett Favre vs. Aaron RodgersDAL 1971: Craig Morton vs. Roger StaubachPIT 1974: Terry Bradshaw vs. Joe GilliamIND 2012: Peyton Manning vs. Andrew LuckNE 2001: Drew Bledsoe vs. Tom BradyNE 2008: Tom Brady vs. Matt CasselPIT 2004: Tommy Maddox vs. Ben RoethlisbergerSF 2012: Alex Smith vs. Colin Kaepernick
Those are only a few examples but in many ways. It’s ironic that the man named Brady is in three QB controversies in his career (potentially).
But Jimmy Garoppolo could be a huge chip for a team looking to resign LBs Dante Hightower, TE Martellus Bennett, as well as CB Malcolm Butler who’s an RFA, never mind S Duron Harmon, and CB Logan Ryan. They also want to avoid a post-2007 gauge where they lost Asante Samuel, Randall Gay, and others notably and their defense took a huge step back.
There’s also a buyer beware for trading/signing a backup QB
I have 4 teams that could be interested in the young QB if the Robert Kraft intervenes and keeps his adopted son Tom Brady.
The Bears are a “hot mess” as I read on Facebook and almost anywhere else. They also have two capable WRs and a line that isn’t complete crap. From the albatross contract of Jay Cutler to Josh McCown, Brian Hoyer, and Matt Barkley, the Chicago Bears fan base needs a leader at the coveted position to help get their offense on track.
They have to give star WR Alshon Jeffery a reason to stay. Alshon paired with Kevin White, who started to emerge a bit before yet another injury, would be great for Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo, an alum of FCS school Eastern Illinois, grew up outside of Chicago and would be a hometown guy for the desperate Bears. Garoppolo also showed in the two games he did play this season that he isn’t rattled easily.
If the Bears could avoid trading their likely top ten pick for the Patriots backup, they could use that pick to trade back and gather other assets, similar to what the Browns have attempted to do in the previous two drafts.
In my latest mock draft I projected the Bears to draft Alabama DE/DT Jonathan Allen, and with the crying demand for QBs, some QB hungry teams who may miss out on Jimmy G will likely target Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, UNC’s Mitch Trubisky, and Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer.
Houston is in a very weird predicament with how awful Brock Osweiler was. This was a clearly an ownership move to bring in Brock as a way to sell to the fans that they had a QB. Osweiler could also be cut by the beginning of the 2018 offseason saving the team $16.5million.
Houston’s defense finished #1 in the NFL last season in total defense, that’s significant considering they didn’t have former DPOY DE JJ Watt. They have Benardrick McKinney, JaDeveon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus, Karim Jackson, and AJ Bouye (pending FA), along with that… that’s a winning defense.
On offense, RB Lamar Miller could make the life of any NFL QB easier. Miller really fit Bill O’Brien’s scheme very well. This WR core could also be an asset for Jimmy Garoppolo, with Pro-Bowler Deandre Hopkins, 2016 1st rounder Will Fuller, and 2016 3rd rounder Braxton Miller at WR and CJ Fiedorowicz at TE.
The Houston Texans have a late 1st-round pick, so trading a 1st and a 4th, similar to the Sam Bradford deal, wouldn’t cripple Houston. But the Texans might also look like a contender, so they might aim to sign Romo, and I can’t blame them for that.
San Francisco 49ers:
The 49ers have a new coach in Kyle Shanahan, the “new coach/new QB” rule could be in play. The team has said that they’ve been thinking about the idea of bringing back Colin Kaepernick. If they choose to pursue other options at QB, you would think it’s going to include Jimmy Garoppolo and the three rookies in the top 10 of the draft.
Assuming Jimmy G were to be in San Fran, it would probably take a trade down to get a mid level 1st round pick. The 49ers don’t have a lot of top-level talent, so that’s not a picture perfect scenario for an FA/trade acquired QB.
The offense could be an ideal fit for the Brady backup, they have a RB in Carlos Hyde that can open the play action game. But, the 9ers fans may not love the idea of a Jimmy G acquisition because they seem to like these draft prospects as a whole. But I think if they can trade down, Jimmy Garoppolo would be almost a slam-dunk.
The Browns have a luxury that only one other team has in this draft with first round picks. They hold the #1 and #12 picks, which could lead them to fill some dire needs. One of those needs has been a need since they brought the Browns back in 1999.
Hue Jackson will have some options in both the draft, (though it’s a weak draft at QB), and some options like Kaepernick, Mike Glennon, and Jimmy G. The only veteran QB I could see Jackson longing for other than Jimmy G is Kaepernick. This is due to the interest that the Raiders had the uttermost interest in Kaepernick with Hue Jackson and Al Davis at the time.
If the Browns were willing to trade the 12th or 33rd pick and some extra middle picks that could be conditional… you can have a deal. The thing with Cleveland is that they have plenty of money in free agency, so they could easily add three or four pieces and build from there.