Will the New England Patriots regret trading backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2018 second-round draft pick?

It’s hard to say without knowing how good Garoppolo will be as a starting QB, how much longer Brady will continue to play or what the Patriots will do with the draft pick they acquired. Therefore, it’s difficult to criticize either team immediately following the deal.

The Patriots certainly are taking a risk, though. Not just because Garoppolo, who’s about to turn 26, could blossom into a star who shines bright well after Brady retires. But also because New England would be forced to rely on Brian Hoyer — a veteran QB without Garoppolo’s upside — if anything happened to Brady.

That reality scares ex-NFL wide receiver Cris Carter.

“I’m terrified for the Patriots now,” Carter said Tuesday on FS1’s “First Things First” while discussing the Jimmy G trade. “You know the reason why? Because this has been a season like no season I’ve seen, and I’ve been covering this league, been associated with this league for over 30 years.

“The horrific injuries. Aaron Rodgers, a lot better athlete than Tom Brady. A lot better athlete. We’re seeing a freakish number of injuries that you can’t understand. I mean star players — J.J. Watt’s out, OBJ is out. I mean we’re talking about young players, players in their prime. So when you talk about having one quarterback on your roster, and he’s 40 years old (like Brady), I just hope that they didn’t make a critical mistake in this year not having a competent backup.”

In other words, the Patriots’ Super Bowl hopes could go down the drain if Brady got injured. Perhaps that would be the reality with or without Garoppolo, who has very limited experience at the NFL level. But the drop-off from Brady to Garoppolo likely isn’t as steep as the drop-off from Brady to Hoyer.

Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images