Tom Brady has had a stellar season at age 40, but could he be even better in 2018? And what about Jimmy Garoppolo? Will the new San Francisco 49ers quarterback join the ranks of the elite signal-callers next season?
While the 2017 season is heading into its final week before the playoffs, for some it’s already time to look ahead to next fall when hope springs eternal. ESPN NFL Insider Mike Sando posted 26 bold predictions that he has heard from insiders for next season, and the insiders expect big things from both Brady and Garoppolo in 2018.
Brady has shown no signs of slowing down in 2017, as the Patriots’ quarterback is the front-runner to take home the MVP award as the season reaches its conclusion. But one insider told Sando that Brady will have an even better year in 2018 at age 41.
“Welcoming back Julian Edelman from injury next season will restore the Patriots’ offense to full power in 2018, as Rob Gronkowski and Brandin Cooks will remain under contract,” Sando writes. “Brady struggled against Miami when forced to play without both Edelman and Gronkowski. Give Brady one of them and he’s fine. Give Brady both of them and look out, rest of NFL.”
Sando does acknowledge that offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels could leave for a head coaching vacancy, which would damage the Patriots’ continuity in 2018 and could hamper Brady’s production.
As for Brady’s former apprentice who now commands the 49ers’ offense, a different insider has high expectations for Garoppolo, believing the young star will command some tier 1 votes in 2018.
“While I expect Garoppolo to land in the second tier overall, excitement surrounding his hot start will create enough recency bias for some in the league to err on the side of optimism. There are also voters who had Garoppolo rated among the very best quarterbacks of the 2014 draft class. A few will be ready to anoint him the next in the top tier.”
Of course, if Garoppolo suffers his first loss of his career Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams that could cause some to rethink the hype surrounding Jimmy G. But other than that, we expect the Garoppolo hype train to be full speed ahead in 2018.
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