“Showmanship, George. When you hit that high note, you say goodnight and walk off.” – Jerry Seinfeld to George Costanza
Jimmy Garoppolo hit that high note and then some in the five and a half quarters of football he played this season. He certainly didn’t plan to exit Gillette Stage Left so soon, but the untimely injury could ultimately be timely and beneficial to both Garoppolo and the Patriots in the longterm.
Earlier this month, the Vikings – a franchise wholly desperate to go deep into the postseason for once – gave up a first round and fourth round pick in exchange for career disappointment Sam Bradford. It was seen as a massive overpay for Bradford, who had not exactly lit the world on fire in St. Louis and Philadelphia.
Bradford did look like a world-beater on Sunday night against Green Bay, completing 21-of-31 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns for a 121.2 passer rating. So maybe the Vikings made the correct decision after all. But, prior to Sunday night’s game Bradford was regarded as maybe the 27th or 28th “best” quarterback in football - and the Vikings still had to give up a first rounder.
At this moment, injured and everything, Garoppolo has to be regarded as a top 15 QB in the league. He might even be a top 10 guy given how bad the QB position currently is in the NFL. The guy looked like Aaron Friggin’ Rodgers in the first quarter against the Dolphins, and that’s why some team will bite on Garoppolo if the Pats dangle him. He is simply oozing with potential.
The great news for the Pats is that the payoff should be high. There’s no reason why they can’t get a first round pick (and more) if they decide to ride out the next four years or so with Senor G.O.A.T. (not the worst plan in the world).
The Pats might even decide to do this sooner rather than later. Hell, what would a team like the Chiefs pay for Garoppolo if Alex Smith tore his ACL next week?
So, should they trade him?
It’s just so odd the way this whole thing is playing out.
The Pats’ offense literally did not miss a beat with Garoppolo under center, so the conventional wisdom says that the Pats have finally found that successor to Tom Brady and they should keep him around. But Bill Belichick is football’s ultimate opportunist and he will not see much sense in keeping two of the league’s top 15 quarterbacks on the same roster for too long.
Now, the biggest knock on Garoppolo moving forward is his durability. It’s absolutely alarming that the guy suffered a significant injury just two games into his career. In Week 1 in Arizona too, there were a few hits that he took – one in which the back of his head bounced off the Glendale turf – that made you wonder whether or not he was sturdy enough for this league.
One of Brady’s most underrated qualities is that, like a pro wrestling veteran, he knows how to land right. Brady played in all 16 regular season games each year from 2002-07 and from 2009-15. He suffered that torn ACL in Week 1 in 2008, but his overall track record when it comes to health is immaculate.
That’s another advantage to being immobile like Brady. When you’re just taking three steps backwards and slinging it over and over again instead of rolling out, looking for daylight, and trying to cut the field in half - there’s much less of a chance for injury.
So once again, the Patriots’ best path to success now and in the next few years wholly involves Tom Brady. He initially got the job as QB of the NEP because of injury. He’ll likely get to keep it thanks to injury as well.