Bill Belichick and the Patriots are always open for business come the trade deadline. Over the past decade-plus, few teams have been as active at the deadline as New England, and this season was no exception.
On the eve of the deadline, Belichick sent backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to San Francisco in exchange for a second-round pick. And with one move, the potential replacement for Tom Brady was gone, and the debate over whether the coach would actually replace the legend with an unproven backup went with it.
So, now we're left to speculate because there have been few if any absolutes that have emerged since the controversial deal went down. Belichick said he "rode it out as long" as the Patriots could before pulling the trigger, but the potential to franchise Garoppolo and then trade him existed as well. He said it was a "complex" situation, leading many to wonder about the possible layers that existed. Did the coach want to retain Garoppolo and perhaps move on from Brady, or did ownership step in and make sure that wouldn't happen?
Nobody other than the parties involved knows for sure, but the fact is Garoppolo is with the Niners, Brian Hoyer is here as Brady's backup and the GOAT will now get to prove to everyone that he can indeed play into his mid-40s.
This week's Samsonite Make Your Case question is simple:Do you agree with the decision to trade Jimmy Garoppolo?
PFW's Fred Kirsch says ...
There's virtually nothing that would make me want to intentional move on from Tom Brady before he is ready to hang them up. So, with that in mind I don't see how anyone could say the Patriots didn't do the right thing in dealing Jimmy Garoppolo.
I was surprised the Patriots didn't move him before the draft, but at the time he represented a great insurance policy in case the 40-year-old Brady got hurt, and there was still a chance the team could convince him to re-sign so he could possibly replace Brady in the future. Clearly the team no longer felt re-signing him was possible, and with just a half a season left to go the insurance didn't outweigh the draft pick the team received in return.
I wish Garoppolo the best in San Francisco but the time came for him to go. Brady is still the best in the business, and there's no end to his greatness in sight.
PFW's Paul Perillo says ...
I don't have much of a problem dealing Jimmy Garoppolo but it's the timing that I disagree with. Trading him in the spring before the draft would have yielded a much bigger return, perhaps multiple picks including a first-rounder. By waiting till the trade deadline, the package was much smaller.
Brady is still playing at a high level so not having the heir apparent isn't a huge deal for me. Realistically you could only keep the insurance policy around for another couple of months, but considering the Patriots got just a second-round pick, why not just keep Garoppolo and make sure he's not needed the rest of the way?
At the end of the year you could have let him walk for what most likely would have been a late third in 2019 as a compensation pick, or the Patriots could have franchised him to trade him. Either way you could have bought more time.
Now it's your turn to cast a vote in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case poll question.