Timetables can change, though, and the Patriots used a second-round pick on Jimmy Garoppolo to give themselves an option for any Brady absence last month. On Monday, they announced that they have signed Garoppolo to a four-year deal.
Garoppolo won the Walter Payton Award as the Football Championship Subdivision’s player of the year in 2013 as he wrapped up an Eastern Illinois career that saw him break many records held by fellow EIU alums Tony Romo and Sean Payton. He won’t be breaking any records for the Patriots in 2014 unless catastrophe strikes for Brady and he winds up ahead of Ryan Mallett on the depth chart.
First-round defensive tackle Dominique Easley is the only unsigned draft pick for the Patriots.