The most tantalizing storyline of the 2016 NFL season — Tom Brady’s return to football — has yet to unfold. But that’s not doing much to curb speculation about his future in New England, especially considering Jimmy Garoppolo just displayed the makings of a franchise quarterback in his two starts.
The question is now beginning to shift from how much longer will Brady play, to how much longer will Brady play in a Patriots uniform? There are a handful of scenarios that could answer that question and the most likely of them lacks a storybook ending.
Brady’s current contract will expire in 2017, while Garoppolo will become a free agent after the 2017 season. NESN sees five different options that could unfold, and listed this very interesting one:
- Keep Brady as the starter for 2016 and 2017, make a long-term deal with Garoppolo and get rid of Brady after the 2017 season
That’s the most likely scenario, NESN says. It makes the most sense that, at 39, Father Time is about to make a run at Brady, and although he actually saw a bit of an increase in some of his output last season, the odds are heavily stacked against him being able to maintain such a high level for any more than another couple of years. That would leave Garoppolo getting the start at age 26.
Whatever happens, there’s a soap opera taking shape in New England that’s rife with the kind of drama that could easily satisfy both sides—the Patriot fanboys and the rest of us.