Over the next few days, I will be writing a two-part series about the following: should the Patriots have transitioned from Tom Brady to Jimmy Garoppolo? I will construct a YES argument (meaning Garoppolo would not have been traded), and a NO argument (the current course). Each argument will be released separately.
Okay, I can already hear the screams.
I just want to make a few things clear: this hypothetical will not criticize Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. in any way, shape, or form. In this fan’s eyes, the 5x Super Bowl Champion, and 3x NFL MVP is the Greatest of All-Time. Plain and simple. Tom Brady has the best regular season winning percentage in NFL history (196-55; 76.86%). If you use a minimum of 32 starts (2 full seasons), and took his postseason record (27-10; 72.97%) and put it on that list, postseason Brady would have the second highest winning percentage in NFL history. He wins… A LOT.
Nevertheless, Tom Brady will be 41 this season. Yes, I am well aware he just came off of an appearance in the Super Bowl (his third appearance in four seasons), and I am well aware he is the reigning MVP, but my curiosity lies in wondering if the Patriots sacrificed success following the end of his career.
For 3.5 seasons, Jimmy Garoppolo was Brady’s backup. In 2016, as Brady served a 4-game suspension, Jimmy G started 2 games, and looked… phenomenal. We all know that it was Brady who filled in for injured QB Drew Bledsoe in 2001 and never let go of the reins, and people began to believe Jimmy G would be an honorable successor to the GOAT. No one is saying he would’ve been Brady 2.0, but maybe someone along the lines of fellow Eastern Illinois alum Tony Romo (with some better coaching) … a talented QB who could continue to keep the Patriots successful for the next 10 years.
Obviously, we will never know.
Jimmy G was injured in his second start of 2016 versus Miami, Brady came back Week 5 against Cleveland, went 11-1, and led the Patriots to their 5th Super Bowl since 2001 (in historic fashion). Jimmy G was in high demand in the offseason, but the Pats held on to their backup. The fact he was kept going into 2017 made some believe he would be the successor sooner rather than later (some, according to some people, included Tom Brady); but that would not happen.
On October 30th, Jimmy was traded to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2018 2nd round pick; the “heir” was out the door. Jimmy got the starting nod as the season ended, going 5-0 to finish 2017. The Patriots did just fine, reaching the Super Bowl yet again, but losing to Philadelphia 41-33.
To those of you still with me here, I propose this question: rather than trading Jimmy Garoppolo this past season, should the Patriots have transitioned from Tom Brady to Jimmy G? I will construct an argument for both sides of this question (Yes/No), as I believe each side warrants consideration. By the end, I will not try to persuade fans to chose one side (because, well, the Patriots already did), but I hope to give readers the opportunity to understand the pros and cons of each side, something New England had to weigh until they traded Garoppolo in October.
Come back tomorrow for Part One, and on Saturday for Part Two
By: Nick Collins
Follow him on Twitter (@Nick_Collins14)