The deflategate scandal is finally over after Tom Brady accepted his 4 game suspension. Patriots fans everywhere are outraged over Brady’s suspension finding it completely unfair. On the other hand it may be entirely possible the Brady suspension turns into a positive for New England.
Patriots back up quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is entering his third NFL season. The former 2nd round pick in 2014 is eager to get his chance. Coming out of college I compared Garoppolo to an eerily similar Tony Romo. The two not only went to the same college (Eastern Illinois) but they also play very similar. Garoppolo doesn’t have the biggest arm but he is accurate and has escapability from the pocket. After 2 years in the Patriots system it is safe to say Garoppolo is ready to take the reigns.
One of the biggest advantage Jimmy G has going for him is he had time to sit and learn. Aaron Rodgers sat and learned for years under Brett Farve. Brock Osweiler sat behind Peyton Manning and discovered some success. To a lesser extent even Tyrod Taylor sat for four year learning from Joe Flacco. We have seen what happens to young quarterbacks when they are rushed on the scene far to soon. Geno Smith, Blaine Gabbert, etc the list goes on and on as not everyone is Russell Wilson.
The Patriots will face off against the Cardinals, Dolphins, Texans, and Bills during the first four weeks. Can we really expect the Patriots to be any worse than 2-2 in those games? This is the Patriots we are talking about, a team that went 11-5 with a full season of Matt Cassel back in 2008. New England will be just fine without Brady for the first four games. Adding to the fact that this team will now be given an extra chip on their shoulder when Brady does eventually return. Let’s not forget Tom Brady is 38, taking a few hits off of him this season isn’t a bad thing and could keep him fresh later in the season.
I fully expect Jimmy Garoppolo to succeed with the Patriots during his brief 4 game stint. I ranked Garoppolo as my third highest ranked quarterback in the 2014 NFL Draft process only behind Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater. He was also rated ahead of guys like Johnny Manziel, Derek Carr and many other by my estimation. It’s time to change the narrative on Jimmy Garoppolo, he could end up being a real asset for the Patriots.
With two years remaining on his contract why wouldn’t New England use him as trade bait following this season. Having drafted Jacoby Brissett in the third round of this year’s draft, is it possible the Pats could move Jimmy G? Teams are always looking for a quarterback in any capacity they could find one. Behind this juggernaut team it is very possible he puts up some great numbers of the course of these first 4 games. Could that fetch a first round pick or potentially more in return? Bill Belichick flipped Chandler Jones for a 2nd rounder this year and isn’t afraid to pull the trigger in terms of collecting more draft picks. If the Patriots can collect a nice draft haul for Jimmy Garoppolo the following season they may count their lucky stars Tom Brady was suspended. If Brady would have played the entire season, Garoppolo wouldn’t really be worth dealing.