Report: ‘Persistent belief’ Patriots will keep Jimmy Garoppolo past 2017 as Tom Brady insurance

Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo?
Aug 26, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Given the number of teams in need of a starting quarterback, New England Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo would seem to be a good trade target. But according to a report, New England may not be looking to make that move.

“As one high level employee of an AFC team recently told PFT, there’s a persistent belief within league circles that the Patriots truly want to keep Garoppolo,” Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported.

As great as Tom Brady is, the Patriots are at a point where they have to think about the future beyond him.

Brady will turn 40 before the 2017 season. The list of quarterbacks who have remained effective beyond 40 is not a long one. Garoppolo may have a limited sample size. But in that short period of time he’s shown himself to be a capable NFL quarterback.

The main holdup is money. Garoppolo is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2018. Given the number of teams that need a quarterback, someone will certainly pay him to be the starter. So, even if the Patriots are going to roll with Brady beyond 2017, they’ll probably have to pay Garoppolo starter’s money.

That is a problem, but not one that New England can’t solve. The Patriots presently rank in the top half of the NFL in terms of cap space and are often rather conservative with their spending. So, keeping Garoppolo and Brady on the roster will be a struggle, but won’t be impossible.

Of course, when it comes to player movement, things can and frequently do change at this time of the year But if nothing else, this should serve as notice for the rest of the NFL. Landing Garoppolo will not be cheap.