The New England Patriots and Bill Belichick will soon be forced to make the most difficult decision besides the Tom Brady for Drew Bledsoe switch. With Brady out for the first four games of the 2016 season, Belichick was forced to hand the ball to Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo has done a great job leading the Patriots to a 2-0 record while passing for 498 yards, four touchdowns, and 0 INTs.
But what happens when Brady returns in Week 5? Garopplllo will head back to the bench, that’s a given but what will the Patriots do when their phone starts ringing with offers for their backup?
Brady is 39 and he has shown no signs of slowing down. He may be behind center for anther 3-4 years but will Garoppolo be willing to wait that long for another shot as a starter? Garoppolo is 25 and should be just hitting his stride as a starter, but being stuck behind Brady is like an RB being next in line behind Adrian Peterson.
Garoppolo is set to become a free agent in 2018 and if the Patriots plan on keeping him they must be ready to shell out some major dollars. The NFL is a passer’s league and each season most teams are still searching for a capable starting QB, but the Patriots have two on their roster and right now, only one is expendable.
Belichick’s hand will be forced this season. With Cleveland and San Fran possibly on the prowl, it could get real interesting in the Patriots headquarters come week 5. If the Pats are willing to listen to offers, what should they ask for? If the Browns call, Belichick should ask for a 2nd rounder and the same for the 49ers. We are talking about a possible starting QB for the next 10-15 years if he can stay healthy, who has come up in one of the best organizations the NFL has to offer.
The Patriots will not be left for dead as they still have the rookie, Jacoby Brissett. He can sit behind Brady and learn, but Garoppolo cannot afford to. I’m sure Belichick knew what he had in Garoppolo all along but he was forced to show his hand maybe two seasons too early and it may cost him in the long run.