Patriots May Live to Rue the Day They Traded Garoppolo

January 20, 2018

Will Jimmy Garoppolo go on to have a career that is the stuff of legend or become the next in a long line of highlytouted NFL quarterbacks who never lived up to their advance billing?

It’s easy for everyone in these parts to get caught up in the Jimmy G hype and feel the Patriots got the raw end of the trade with the 49ers. Especially when you consider Garoppolo’s pedigree of having spent four seasons in the Patriots’ organization, being coached up by Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels, while serving as the backup to Tom Brady, and his 7-0 record as a starter.

But let’s also remember Brady’s skills hardly look as if they’ve diminished much at age 40, and the fact he’s 5-2 in his seven starts in Super Bowls.

Regardless of the reason why the deal was made, Garoppolo, who possesses all the tools you look for in a potential franchise QB, still has a long way to go in his development. Will Garoppolo be the next Brock Osweiler or did Belichick deal the 49ers their next Joe Montana or Steve Young for a second round pick?

In the six games Garoppolo played for San Francisco (five starts), he threw seven touchdowns with five interceptions. Adecent but far from great stat line. In fact, was Garappolo better than Jacoby Brissett?

The Patriots shipped Brissett (remember him?), the third string quarterback in training camp to the Indianapolis Colts for receiver Phillip Dorsett in early September. Brissett passed for 3,098 yards and 13 TDs with seven interceptions this season. He also rushed for 260 yards and four scores while appearing in all 16 of the Colts’ games (15 starts).

Based on initial impressions both Garoppolo and Brissett look like starting NFL quarterbacks. They’re both better than any quarterback currently on the roster of the Patriots’ AFC East foes - the Bills, Jets or Dolphins. Only time will tell how good Garoppolo or Brissett become - and whether or not the Patriots wish they held onto one or both of them...

Are USC’s Sam Darnold and UCLA’s Josh Rosen the two best QBs in the 2018 draft? Granted it was a low-level bowl game played on blue field turf, but I happened to watch Wyoming QB Josh Allen, who is 6foot-5 and weighs 240-pounds, throw three TDs in a 37-14 win over Central Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl last month, and couldn’t help but think this kid is the second coming of Carson Wentz...

Speaking of Wentz, who suffered a season-ending torn ACL in his left knee in a win over the Rams on Dec. 10, the Philadelphia Eagles QB deserves to be the MVP despite missing the final three games.

In only his second NFL season, Wentz, 25, passed for 33 TDs and 3,296 yards with only seven interceptions in 13 games while serving as the leading man in the surprising Eagles run to the best record in the NFC. With Wentz at quarterback Philadelphia would be a serious threat to win the Super Bowl. With Nick Foles at QB, look for the Atlanta Falcons to go into Philly and knock off the NFC’s top-seed Saturday...

Call me crazy, but we could get a Pats vs. Falcons rematch in this year’s Super Bowl. The sixth-seeded Falcons have the look of a team that’s going to make an unexpected playoff run. The Falcons defense has played extremely well of late, including last Saturday’s playoff win at the Rams. And let’s not forget Matt Ryan, who has become a pretty good postseason performer. The former BC great has thrown 10 TD passes with no interceptions in his last four playoff games.

Ryan owns a streak of five consecutive postseason games with a passer rating in the triple digits. Reportedly, Ryan is tied with Troy Aikman for the second-longest such run in the NFL all-time and is only three behind Montana. Pretty impressive company for a guy who isn’t viewed by many fans as a QB who rises to the occasion in big games.