At some point, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady no longer will be the quarterback of the Patriots. Coach Bill Belichick either can plan for the inevitable transition, or he can hope the team falls bass-ackwards into an Andrew Luck.
Belichick possibly has opted to plan for that transition, by using the team’s 2014 second-round pick not on a guy who’ll help Brady win another Super Bowl before he leaves New England, but on a guy who could help Belichick win a Super Bowl after Brady is gone.
And so Jimmy Garoppolo could be be the backup to Brady (for now) and the eventual successor to Brady.
“We know what Ryan [Mallett’s] contract situation is,” Belichick told reporters on Friday night. “We know what Tom’s age and contract situation is. I don’t think you want to have one quarterback on your team. I don’t think that’s responsible to the entire team or the organization.”
Asked if he has talked to Brady about the possibility of picking a quarterback, Belichick was classically evasive: “I talk to Tom on a regular basis.”
It’s possible that, with Mallett entering the final season of his rookie deal, the arrival of Garoppolo could mean the team will keep three quarterbacks on the roster in 2014.
“It could,” Belichick said. “I don’t know. It could. I don’t have any control over how anything is going to unfurl. We put the players out there and they compete and we evaluate them. I can’t control that. . . . We’ll do whatever is best for the team. We’ve had four, we’ve had three, we’ve had two. So whatever’s best for the team, that’s what we’ll do. Nothing is set in stone. We’ve had different numbers of guys at different positions. I don’t think there’s any concrete formula. We’ll do what’s best for the team.”
At some point in the future, what’s best for the team will be to nudge Brady off the roster. Once Garoppolo signs, he and Brady will each be under contract for four years. By the time those four years are up, Jimmy could be taking over for #Tommy.