By EMMETT SCHINDLER
Photo credit goes to CBS.
Free agency headlines the NFL offseason each year, with players scrambling to find themselves a place to play while teams map out their needs and wants. Every offseason, the main topic of discussion are the quarterbacks: which teams need one, and who’s on the move. While the New England Patriots have one of the best quarterbacks in the league, they continue to be brought up because of Tom Brady’s backup, Jimmy Garoppolo, and his next destination.
During Brady’s four-game suspension to start the 2016-2017 season, Garoppolo had the chance to start his first NFL regular-season game in his career. He impressively put up 264 passing yards and threw one touchdown in a win against Arizona, a game the Patriots were supposed to lose.
In Week 2, Garoppolo came out firing with three passing touchdowns and 232 passing yards. However, in the third quarter, he suffered a shoulder injury that would take him out for the rest of the game and ultimately the rest of Brady’s suspension. During the one and a half games he played, Garoppolo proved to be a solid and reliable backup for Brady, fitting in perfectly with Bill Belichick's system.
When Brady announced he would not retire after one of his most solid seasons yet, the first thought that came into the fan’s mind was, “What will happen to Garoppolo?” The Patriots quickly came out and said he will not be traded and will still be kept as the No. 2 behind Brady. While this may excite New England fans to ensure a reliable backup in case of a Brady injury or surprise retirement, the possible trades for the quarterback sound quite convincing.
If the Bears were willing to give up the third overall pick for Garoppolo, why not take it? Jacoby Brissett has also showed great potential in Belichick’s system and would serve as a solid backup. An early draft pick is what the Patriots need more right now rather than a quarterback to stay warm on the bench.
The Patriots need to weigh the options of trading Garoppolo. The real question comes down to whether they want a more promising quarterback to replace Brady. Ever since his two starts, Garoppolo proved his spot on the roster and set high expectations for the future.
But if the Patriots can get a top 15 pick in the draft for someone who might not be playing for a few years, their best bet might be to take it and leave hope in their next backup in Brisset.