Backing up the best quarterback of all time is tough to do if you're as talented as Jimmy Garoppolo. But according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, he is expected to start another season on the Patriots' bench.
It was widely assumed that the Patriots would deal Garoppolo, whose skills were on display during Tom Brady's four-game suspension at the start of the 2016 season.
While Garoppolo was injured in the second week and left rookie Jacoby Brissett to take over under center, his work on the field was extremely impressive. He completed 43 of 63 pass attempts for 502 yards and four touchdowns.
Drafted in the second round in 2014, many hoped he would be the heir to Brady. The issue, though, is his contract expires after the 2017 season — and Brady's expires two years later. And the championship season Brady had after returning from his suspension was one that further cemented his legacy as "the GOAT."
As Schefter notes, Garoppolo not being an option for teams in need of a quarterback upgrade would have a significant implication across the league this offseason. Teams may be forced to reassess their priorities in the draft, and the supply-to-demand ratio on the trade market would be skewed, possibly increasing the price for alternatives.
The Patriots would certainly love to have someone of Garoppolo's caliber behind their future Hall of Famer. But if they don't view him as Brady's successor, it would be surprising not to see them capitalize on that asset.