With the 2017 NFL season starting up in a few months, there are a handful of headlines leading into the season. One story involves the defending Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots, and backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who is set to become a free agent after this season. With that, should Garoppolo stay in New England after this upcoming season?
In the second round of the 2014 draft, the team selected Garoppolo, who was coming out of Eastern Illinois University. During his four years at the college level, Garoppolo threw for 13,156 yards, 118 touchdowns, 51 interceptions, and contained a passer rating of 146.3.
Heading into the draft, Garoppolo was highly scouted by a multitude of NFL teams, and was projected to be one of the best quarterback prospects in the class.
In his rookie season, Garoppolo did not get much playing time. The only playing time he received was during “garbage time”, which was primarly during the week four matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. In the six total games that he was on the field, Garoppolo threw for 182 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions, and had a passer rating of 101.2.
In the two games that Garropolo started last season, during Brady’s four-game suspension, he threw for 502 yards, 4 touchdowns, had no interceptions, and finished with a passer rating of 123.5. Even though he was supposed to start all four games, Garoppolo suffered a shoulder injury after taking a hit from Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso, forcing the franchise to sideline him for Jacoby Brissett.
With every young quarterback, there are a lot of flaws in their games, and Garoppolo is no different. With him only starting three games in his short career, critics question whether he is the real deal or not.
After the 2017 season, barring any contract extensions, or if the team elects to use the franchise tag, Garoppolo will likely become an unrestricted free agent, and there should be a lot of teams that would be interested in him. If Garopolo hits the open market, expect him to aim for a similar amount of money Mike Glennon received from the Chicago Bears, which was a total of $45 million over the span of three years.
Seeing that Garoppolo will likely not get a start this upcoming season, it would be a smart choice for Garoppolo to hit free agency and get paid by a team such as New York or San Francisco, who are in need of a franchise quarterback. On the other hand, New York and San Fransisco are both undergoing major rebuilds right now, and neither franchise has a well-rounded team to build around Garoppolo.
In New England, Garoppolo could also get hit with the franchise tag by the team, which would not make a lot of sense on behalf of the Patriots.
Another option that could work is a three-year contract extension for Garoppolo, which would pay him around most likely $30-40 million. The reason why this would work is that Brady is getting at the end of his career, and during the 2019 and 2020 offseason, a lot of the core players contracts will be running out, including Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Brandin Cooks, Mike Gillislee, Devin McCourty and yes, Tom Brady.
If he takes the three-year deal, which would pay him a decent amount of money to remain as the backup, the contract would run out after the 2020 season. With a lot of expiring contracts coming up in 2019 and 2020, that would be the perfect time for him to take over at quarterback.
At the end of the day, the best thing for Garoppolo to do is stay put and improve his game in New England after this upcoming season. He already has it made in New England, as he is being mentored by one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in Brady, and is being coached by one of the greatest head coaches of all time in Bill Belichick.
Photo Credit Elise Amendola/Associated Press
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