Thirty-nine-year-old Tom Brady, fresh off another Super Bowl MVP performance, has no plans on retiring anytime soon, and as such, it’s certainly reasonable to think that the Patriots would have great interest in trading his backup, Jimmy Garoppolo, who will be in demand in the coming weeks.
Garoppolo, a 2014 second-round pick, started the first two games of the 2016 season while Brady served his Deflategate suspension, and led the Patriots to two wins. In those games, Garoppolo completed 42 of 59 attempts (71 percent) for 469 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions before getting hurt just before halftime in Week 2 against the Dolphins.
Last week, Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot wrote that while the Browns will do their due diligence on the 2017 quarterback class, the organization “is intrigued [by Garoppolo] ... and they’ll strongly consider it. The cost could be the No. 12 overall pick and more.”
The Patriots have a history of flipping backups for high draft picks. Back in February 2009, coach Bill Belichick traded Matt Cassel (and veteran linebacker Mike Vrabel) to the Chiefs for the 34th overall pick. That was a few months after Cassel had started 15 games for the Patriots -- in place of an injured Brady -- and helped the Pats to 11 wins.
So it stands to reason that Belichick would do something similar with Garoppolo, especially since Brady isn’t going anywhere. But TheMMQB.com’s Peter King had this interesting nugget in his Monday column: “I think Jimmy Garoppolo will not be traded by New England this offseason.”
The thinking: Despite Brady’s proclamations, he will not, in fact, play forever. In October 2015, he said he had another decade left. And this last December, he said he plans to play another five or six years. Brady will turn 40 in August and the Patriots reportedly think he can play for another three years.
And if the end comes sooner than that, the Patriots don’t want to be without a replacement. Put another way: Keeping Garoppolo around makes all the sense in the world if the plan is to promote him in the next couple years. And with one year left on his rookie deal, Garoppolo is a bargain for 2017 (he’ll make $820,000 next season), and the team can worry about re-signing him a year from now.
Or, as King puts it: “If I’m Belichick, I’m thinking: I’d rather have a quarterback on my roster who I know can win January games in 2017 than go without him and have a first-round pick instead.”
For now, however, Brady remains the man -- even if his wife, Gisele Bundchen, wishes he would call it a career.
“If it was up to my wife, she would have me retire today,” Brady told Sirius XM Radio last week. “She told me that last night three times. And I said, ‘Too bad, babe, I’m having too much fun right now.’ You know, I feel like I can still do it. If you love what you do and you’re capable of doing it, then I might be so bored if I wasn’t going out there knowing that I could still do it. So I’m going to work hard to be ready to go, and I still plan on playing for a long time.”