BOSTON (CBS) — With Tom Brady showing no signs of stopping any time soon and Jimmy Garoppolo a year away from free agency, many have wondered why Garoppolo is still in New England.
That’s what CSNNE’s Mike Giardi asked a group of scouts, execs and former players with ties to the Patriots on Thursday. It’s as hard as ever to figure out Bill Belichick’s motivations in keeping not just Garoppolo but Jacoby Brissett on the roster, with no end in sight for Brady’s tenure in New England.
It could be as simple as Belichick looking at Garoppolo and seeing Brady’s eventual successor – and the NFL’s next great quarterback.
“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,” said one AFC scout. “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.”
Another AFC scout said: “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.”
Garoppolo looked strong in his limited time as the Patriots’ starting quarterback in 2016. He completed 24 of 33 passes (72.7 percent) for 264 yards and a touchdown in their Week 1 win over the Cardinals. He looked even better in Week 2 against the Dolphins, completing 18 of 26 passes for 232 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions before leaving with a shoulder injury in the second quarter. He finished his brief season as starter with a 113.3 passer rating.
Brady’s starting job is not in danger as long as he keeps playing the way he has in recent years. But if Garoppolo is indeed Brady’s successor, then Belichick will soon need to figure out how to pay both of them before Garoppolo hits free agency.