With Tom Brady’s recent comments about playing until his mid-40s, has Jimmy Garoppolo finally given up hope of becoming the franchise’s next starting quarterback? There have been reports from Pats training camp that the 25 year old second round draft pick out of Eastern Illinois University back in 2014 is “dogging” it at practice, and his numbers in the first scrimmage of the year prove that could be the case. Garoppolo was 14/36 (38.8%) passing leading the offense down the field for 4 field goal drives, 0 touchdowns, on 9 total possessions. This is not me saying that his lackluster performance in an intersquad scrimmage is a definite sign that he is just going through the motions as there are many other factors that could justify that kind of stat line (i.e. trying out new things, playing with backups and rookies, and a lot of other moving parts that come with opening up training camp). However, with other reports that after practice concludes for the day, Tom Brady and a few other players were still out on the field putting in a little extra work, while Jimmy G was signing autographs for fans. Is it possible that the quarterback entering his 4th season accepted that he isn’t going to beat out TB12 for the starting job and sees no end in sight to the Tom Brady era? At least that is the way I would think if I was a 25 year old competing against the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. Why would I bust my ass to get better when there is no chance I see any meaningful playing time unless Brady goes down with an injury. When Garoppolo came into the league in 2014 he knew he was drafted to be the backup and to ultimately lead the Patriots offense once Brady was gone, but what he didn’t know was that he could be 30 years old when that opportunity finally presents itself. In an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer Garoppolo said “I’m happy. I think everything that happens, happens for a reason. I’m happy being here, I’ve gotten two Super Bowl rings. So I wouldn’t say I’m frustrated. Eager to play is probably a better way to put it. I’m just not used to being a backup. I want to be a starter, and compete to be a starter. That’s how I look at it.” So if Garoppolo is telling the truth, he says he is not frusterated… yet. Nonetheless, Jimmy Garoppolo will be getting just over $800,000 to sit on the bench this year, and if the the patriots want to hold on to him next year they’ll have to sign him to one-year deal worth about $24 million (an unheard of amount for a backup quarterback) to avoid hitting him with a franchise tag, which will be valued around the same in the 2018 offseason. Let’s say the Patriots do offer Jimmy G that $24,000,000 contract, which is not something they typically do, Belichick would have to convince him to sign the deal, which would be a difficult task considering how badly he wants to be a starter, and testing the free agent market would allow him to do so. Not to mention, paying Garoppolo $24 million would make him a higher paid quarterback than the guy who starts over him and one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the entire league. It will be interesting to see what the Patriots have planned for their coveted QB as they have already turned down multiple trade offers in exchange for him. Needless to say, the Jimmy Garoppolo situation is something to keep an eye on moving forward.
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- Jimmy Garopollo: image via ShoneBK - Wikipedia Commons