Tom Brady is showing no signs of decline and, at the age of 39, that is flatly ridiculous. The New England Patriots quarterback was the centerpiece of the latest Super Bowl winner and, given that he is on record in voicing his desire to play several more seasons, the organization could be set for a while.
However, the Pats do have a (very) interesting decision coming with backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and Chris Wesseling of NFL.com recently shed light on the situation. The report brings word from Mike Garofolo of NFL Network in saying that a contract extension for Garoppolo isn’t exactly likely at this point. With that in mind, New England must decide whether to commit a number approaching $24 million (!) on a one-year basis to keep Garoppolo in the fold beyond 2017 and that could be prohibitive.
Can you imagine a situation in which Tom Brady isn’t close to the highest-paid quarterback on the Patriots roster? Garoppolo showed intriguing signs during his brief stint in the role last season as Brady was suspended but it would be very difficult for Bill Belichick and his staff to maintain any level of flexibility with both quarterbacks making big money. Garoppolo was asked about the possibility of an extension and, as you may expect, he gave a non-answer.
“I’ll entertain any possibility. I’m not really thinking about it too much right now. There’s just so much going on with OTAs and training camp right around the corner. That’s where my focus is. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there, I guess.”
There isn’t an easy solution for the Patriots here unless they can find an overwhelming trade offer for Garoppolo and/or be willing to sacrifice future “certainty” at the most important position. This is the definition of a “first-world problem” for the league’s best organization but it’s a tricky spot.