At some point, the Patriots are going to have to decide whether Tom Brady or Jimmy Garoppolo is New England’s future starting quarterback.
Both quarterbacks still are on the Patriots, so that decision clearly was not made this offseason. Brady seems to believe he can play forever, and Garoppolo’s rookie contract is running out after this season, so the Patriots will need to make a choice less than a year from now.
It’s possible, based on former Patriots assistant Michael Lombardi’s comments on CSNNE’s “Boston Sports Tonight,” that Bill Belichick and Co. haven’t yet decided if they plan to franchise Garoppolo after this season.
“I think most people see A or B,” Lombardi told CSNNE’s Tom E. Curran. “Tom is there, Jimmy is there, how long? And they look at it through that lens, through that landscape. When you’re really in the decision-making mode, which is where Bill Belichick and the Patriots are, it’s called a false duality when you think there’s just two options. And where the Patriots have been so successful over the years, and the reason they’ve won so much is because they see beyond two options.
“There’s three options — C, D, E and F. And I think the only way you can truly see those options are to give it time. And no one wants to hear that. Everyone wants to rush to a decision today when there really is no decision to make today. It’s the fourth year of Jimmy’s contract, which is economically friendly.
“When we picked Jimmy we thought he had an opportunity to develop into a starting quarterback in the NFL. I believe he showed he has the skillset to do that. I think Tom has showed that Father Time hasn’t caught up to him and he’s done a remarkable job of handling his body. But what’s going to happen over the next 16 games is gonna be further evidence. There’s probably going to be a C, D or E that comes into the decision-making process that will allow the Patriots to make the best decision for the present and the future.”
So, the Patriots are in wait-and-see mode. And they clearly decided this offseason that having a potential future franchise quarterback in Garoppolo is more valuable than any assets they could have accumulated in trading him. We’ll see if they make the same decision a year from now.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images