The New England Patriots are now dealing with another conundrum in the form of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
The Patriots are getting to the point where they have to start thinking of life after Brady. Is Garoppolo part of that plan? Well the Patriots need to make a decision soon as their second string quarterback is heading into the final year of his rookie contract and most likely will be a hot commodity if he hits the open market next March.
Garoppolo has made it clear that everything is on the table, which could possibly be an extension or a starting gig on another team. However, he is still focused on the task at hand.
“I’d entertain any possibility,” Garoppolo said to ESPN.com. “I’m not really thinking about it too much right now. There’s so much going on with OTAs and training camp right around the corner, that’s where my focus is. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there, I guess.”
Another option that is on the table is the franchise tag which in turn would pay Garoppolo $24 million during the 2018 season.
But this also seems like a more unlikely option as you can assume the chances are slim that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will pay a backup quarterback that kind of money. Garoppolo has also made it known that he is hungry to play and may not want to hold the clipboard for two more seasons.
“Obviously, I want to play. That’s the competitor in me. I think everyone out here wants to play,” Garoppolo said. “We come out here and compete every day for that opportunity and if you go out and earn it, it’s yours. … Nothing is going to be given to you, especially here.”
The conundrum seems like a simple one with the cliche “keep him or let him go” choice. But it’s a whole lot more complicated than that. Having invested a lot in the Eastern Illinois alum, the Patriots have a legitimate quarterback who can play and take the reins.
A perfect example would be to look at Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers who spent three seasons under the wing of Brett Favre and was more than ready to take over for the longtime quarterback.
Garoppolo, now entering his fourth season as backup has proven he is more than ready in their system much like Rodgers was with the Packers.
Do the Patriots really want to sacrifice that and start from scratch once again with an unproven player?