Jimmy Garoppolo’s short two-game stint as starting quarterback of the New England Patriots was enough to convince other NFL teams that he can be their man.
Garoppolo didn’t even finish his second start during Tom Brady’s suspension before he got hurt, handing the reins to Jacoby Brissett.
But in those 1.5 games, Garoppolo looked impressive, completing 68% of his passes for over 400 yards and four touchdowns, with no interceptions.
With one year left on Garoppolo’s contract and a shortage of good free agent quarterbacks, many people expect the Patriots to receive calls about trading for Garoppolo. Quarterback-needy teams like the Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears may pursue him hard, hoping his Patriots pedigree can transfer with him.
According to Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, some NFL executives believe the Patriots will get “an offer for Jimmy Garoppolo they cannot refuse.”
“I want to be clear about what I’m being told: They believe several teams are preparing to make blockbuster offers for Garoppolo. I’m not saying it will happen. I’m saying this is the belief of some around football. They think a draft shakeup is coming and that it will involve Garoppolo.
“The increasingly popular view among some in the league is that Garoppolo can transform a franchise almost overnight and is worth a first-round pick.”
As Freeman notes, trading Garoppolo before he’s due for a big pay day would be consistent with how the Patriots have treated impending free agents. They traded valuable defenders in Jamie Collins and Chandler Jones, in part, because they were approaching free agency.
Garoppolo is an interesting case, though. Of course, Brady showed no signs of decline in helping the Patriots make the greatest Super Bowl comeback in NFL history, but he is 40 years old and just took nine QB hits in 15th game of his 17th season. He’s got a ton of miles.
Brady will retire one day and the Patriots will need a backup. Perhaps they think Brissett can be that guy. Perhaps they think they can draft a replacement or sign one in free agency. However, it’s worth wondering if the Patriots think it’s worth hanging onto Garoppolo as insurance when Brady’s career is done.
There’s been enough indication that teams will certainly call about Garoppolo. What remains to be seen is how badly teams want him and how high the price would have to be for the Patriots to get rid of him.
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