The Patriots likely have a big decision to make in five months or so regarding the quarterback position. Long-time starter Tom Brady is 40, and his highly-regarded backup, Jimmy Garoppolo, is entering the final year of his contract. One of them likely will be gone in 2018.
Most believe that Brady will stay if he wants to, especially in light of the fact that owner Robert Kraft essentially regards Brady as another son. If, however, coach Bill Belichick makes the unexpected decision that Brady should get the same remove-the-name-from-the-jersey, what-can-you-do-for-me-right-now-and-tomorrow? treatment so many others have experienced in the past 17 years in New England, Kraft apparently won’t get in the way.
Asked in a recent interview by Ben Volin of the Boston Globe if Kraft is willing to trust whatever his football employees decide to do, Kraft said, “Yes.”
“I think Jimmy is great, and we’re lucky to have him here,” Kraft added. “But I also get people in the process who understand better than I [do]. That doesn’t mean I’m not willing to weigh in and give them my thoughts. But I think we have a pretty good record in the personnel area. We’ll wait and see what happens at the end of the year. A lot of things happen that no one can plan.”
One thing that could happen would be a surprise retirement from Brady, if he gets his sixth Super Bowl win and if Mrs. Brady decides to put her foot down. She joked (supposedly it was only a joke) about Brady retiring after No. 5. Then, she spoke publicly about his past concussions and her concerns about his future health.
If he had nothing more to prove after winning Super Bowl LI and establishing himself as the greatest quarterback of all time, he’ll have even less to prove if he wins Super Bowl LII. And the transition from Brady to Garoppolo could be far more seamless than Montana-to-Young or Favre-to-Rodgers. If Garoppolo ultimately can earn comparisons to either guy.