The New England Patriots seemed to find the perfect successor for Tom Brady in Jimmy Garoppolo. Only a funny thing happened: Brady just keeps dominating.
The Patriots drafted Garoppolo in the second round in 2014 — with Brady about to turn 37 — thinking he’d someday take over as New England’s starting quarterback. Brady’s continued excellence ultimately forced the Patriots to trade Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers last October, though, as Jimmy G was set to become a free agent at the end of the 2017 season.
In theory, the Patriots could have moved on from Brady and instead rolled with Garoppolo moving forward. It would have been a huge gamble with Brady still performing at such a high level for the perennial Super Bowl contenders, but Shannon Sharpe explained Wednesday on FS1’s “Undisputed” why he believes that’s exactly what Patriots head coach Bill Belichick wanted to do.
There have been reports in recent months — leading up to and after the Patriots’ Super Bowl LII loss to the Philadelphia Eagles — that Brady and Belichick don’t exactly see eye to eye, and Ian O’Connor’s upcoming book, ?Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time,” stands to breathe new life into rumors regarding the supposed rift. But did Belichick ever really consider keeping Garoppolo over Brady?
In the end, it probably wouldn’t have mattered, because it’s hard to imagine Patriots owner Robert Kraft ever green-lighting such a decision.