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Is Garoppolo the heir to the throne or just another pretender?.

What does the future hold for Jimmy Garoppolo in New England?

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According to official sources, New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, has signed a contract extension that will keep him on the roster until 2019. 

That's good news for Patriots fans, or anyone who appreciates the pleasure of watching arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history on a weekly basis. What's not to like about that?

Well, for starters, just about everyone affiliated with the NFL that doesn't support the Patriots is absolutely sick and tired of him.

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The players, fans, directors, owners, Roger Goodell, you name it, every last one of them cannot wait to see the last of Tom Brady.

Teams in the AFC must be absolutely fed up with living in the decade-and-a-half long shadow of Brady's Patriots, particularly the AFC East teams that have endured watching them win 13 of the last 15 AFC East titles despite the frequent roster changes.

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And just when they thought the end of their misery was near, he signs on for another two years. That's got to be tough.

What about Jimmy?

But Brady's contract extension also poses a problem for a certain individual on the Patriots' roster.

Backup quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, is currently signed with the team through the 2017 season and is in danger of having his own personal seat engraved on the team bench.

New England Patriots v New York Jets

Drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft (62nd overall), Garoppolo will be entering his third year on the bench this coming season. 

While being an understudy to a Hall of Fame-bound quarterback with four championships in six appearances isn't the worst thing in the world, I think I'm right to assume that Garoppolo is in no way excited at the thought of being a career backup. 

The 24-year-old has shown great poise, mobility, decision-making and awareness in his limited snaps under centre over the last two years. Additionally, the fact that he already has a Super Bowl ring and has imbibed the winning mentality integral to the Patriots' dynastic run should be a combination that quarterback-needy franchises may be willing to sell their souls for.

So what becomes of Jimmy Garoppolo?

We've been down this road before. Since Brady, with the help of Mo Lewis, took over from Drew Bledsoe, many quarterbacks have served as his backup with the hope of one day becoming the starter.

All followed similar paths: traded or released. For roughly 13 years, there has been a revolving door at backup QB in New England, with the likes of Brian Hoyer, Matt Cassel, Ryan Mallett and Tim Tebow (#TebowManiaWasHere) and there isn't too much to suggest that Garoppolo's fate will be any different. 

New England Patriots v Detroit Lions

Not only is Tom Brady, 'The Ageless Wonder', not showing any signs of decline, the league's decision to take away the Patriots' first-round draft pick, assuming it is upheld, should loom large in any decision on Garoppolo's future.

The Patriots could opt to trade him for other players and/or lower draft picks. Maybe even a second round pick if the Cleveland Browns, still reeling from the epic failure of the much-hyped but recently cancelled series 'Johnny Football', are desperate enough.

That would help them to somewhat neutralise the stiffness of the league's punishment. Conversely, they could decide to develop him in order to ensure a seamless transition when Father Time eventually escorts Brady off the field.

Scenario

The belief here is that Jimmy carries the ball bag and Tommy's kit for another year at least. 

While the market value for a young quarterback with the potential to be both a short-term fix and a long-term solution will be far too mouthwatering for the Patriots to ignore, I think the team should look to the future and keeps Garoppolo for another year.

Garoppolo is arguably better than every quarterback in this year's draft class, which is considered by some to be weak, and perhaps it would be myopic to give away a very serviceable and malleable quarterback in a year when the Patriots may be a Brady injury away from calamity. 

After all, anything can happen at any time to any player. Also, what better way for the Patriots to maintain their stranglehold over their division and continued run of dominance than by recreating the Favre-Rodgers transition in Green Bay?

Pittsburg Steelers v Green Bay Packers

A few more seasons behind Brady may be very beneficial to Garoppolo if he becomes the starter. If he's good enough, perhaps Brady's departure wouldn't usher in the Apocalypse in Boston that many fear or expect.

With all that being said, if Brady stays healthy and keeps playing at an MVP-level next season, then it will become very much likely that the Patriots seek a trade.

Garoppolo will have become a more experienced signal caller and is more likely to demand a second round pick as compensation. Expect the Dolphins to be looking for a quarterback next offseason after Ryan Tannehill proves, once again, why he should not be a franchise quarterback.

Other teams such as the Giants, Cardinals, Saints and Chargers may also be searching for a young quarterback to backup or even replace their ageing starters come next spring.

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins

However, I still wouldn't put it above Bill Belichick trading Garoppolo this offseason for some unknown or mediocre players.

We've seen him make seemingly bizarre decisions only for them to be rewarded by another Lombardi trophy. It won't be the first time he's made everyone else look foolish after all. 

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Topics:
New England Patriots
Tom Brady
Miami Dolphins
NFL

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