Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports writes that Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo is in a similar situation as Brock Osweiler last year, as a solid showing over the first four games could lead to him emerging as a legitimate starter and a valuable trade commodity for New England.
According to Robinson, it would be naïve to believe Tom Brady has another three or four years left in him at the level he’s been performing at in recent years. If Garoppolo is able to step in and show he can keep the Patriots competitive, Robinson says that it could open up some possibilities for him in New England, which could include eventually taking over for Brady.
One interesting scenario tossed out by Robinson is that there’s a “very good chance” Josh McDaniels won’t be with the Patriots beyond 2016. If McDaniels secures another head-coaching job next year, Robinson believes there’s a “high-percentage” change he’ll want someone he’s familiar with like Garoppolo.
As for potential teams who could have interest in Garoppolo, Robinson tosses out the 49ers, Saints, Redskins and Browns.
The Saints still haven’t sorted out the situation with Drew Brees, who’s in the final year of his contract and would be extremely hard to retain with the franchise tag next year. Robinson writes that “New Orleans isn’t certain that it has a long-term replacement on the roster.”
As for the 49ers, they were in talks to trade Colin Kaepernick months ago and there’s a decent enough chance that Blaine Gabbert could win the starting job, which could lead to them moving on from Kaepernick next year. It really wouldn’t be all that surprising to see them in the quarterback market next year.
Garoppolo seems like a contingency option at best for the Redskins, as they’ll want to see what Kirk Cousins can do and what it will cost to retain him on a long-term deal.
However, the Browns will likely consider all of their available options at quarterback next year, even after signing Robert Griffin III and drafting Cody Kessler.
Garoppolo, 24, is a former second-round pick of the Patriots back in 2014. He’s currently in the third year of his four-year, $3,483,898 rookie contract and stands to make a base salary of $686,718 for the 2016 season.
In 2015, Garoppolo appeared in five games and completed one of four pass attempts for six yards.