Clean up on aisle me
It's pretty much a confirmed fact: Jimmy Garoppolo, the most handsome man in
football sports recorded history will almost certainly be traded. I can't pretend like I didn't see this coming. All the signs were there. The New England Patriots (peace be upon them) had the best quarterback in the league and the most talented quarterback in the league, which is the kinda problem you *wanna* have. Sadly, even though Brady is nearing his 40th birthday, he's shown no signs of slowing down (and, terrifyingly enough, actually seems to be getting somewhat better). It really only makes sense to trade away your most valuable asset in order to fortify the rest of the team. Hell, maybe Belichick can land a rookie like Reuben Foster or an edge defender - if the first round pick is high enough.
I think we're all in agreement that the selection of Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round raised more than a few eyebrows. My particular favorite reaction was the one from Ross Tucker:
Nice going on that one, Rosstradamus! That was the year the Patriots, of course, would go on to win the Super Bowl, and people would recognize that something had happened in the world. Food tasted kinda different. The sky was a slightly different shade of blue. Birds seemed to fly a little bit slower. And Tom Brady was no longer the most handsome man on his team.
|If you can believe that|
Still, Brady was very clearly the most talented of the two (and he remains so), as he was firing the ball out faster than ever and completing passes to esteemed professional pass-catchers such as Aaron Dobson and Matt Slater. Thought 2015 ended in disappointment, 2016 would begin in even worse fashion: Brady was unjustly suspended, leading to Jimmy Garoppolo's earlier-than-anticipated debut. Couple that with the third round selection of Jacoby Brissett (signaling – perhaps – a lack of confidence in the young gunslinger), and it appeared that escaping the four Brady-less games with a 2-2 record would be optimistic. After all, why draft a third round quarterback if your second round quarterback held any promise at all? Jimmy G. led a touchdown drive in the humiliating 41-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, sure, but that didn't mean anything. He wasn’t exactly aided in his first game of the season, either.
The 2015 Arizona Cardinals had one of the top defenses in the league, led in part by the stellar pass defense of their secondary, nicknamed the “No Fly Zone.” The ‘Zone featured notable blue chip players like Patrick Peterson and Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu, and Calais Campbell is and was an absolute stud as a 3-4 defensive end. The offseason proved fruitful, sending a second round pick for Chandler Jones, while (and this is looking to the future, so bear with me) Pro Football Focus tells me that both safeties, Tony Jefferson and D.J. Swearinger, had 2016 seasons that would be considered well above average. This was an intimidating game for the young kid, and it was played in University of Phoenix Stadium. How could he possibly win? What could he possibly do?
|He could look my way, for starters.|
He went out there and looked like a man. The kinda man who can re-do your kitchen on time, under budget, and with your favorite pastels selected for the walls. The 23-21 victory he engineered was like his favorite romantic dinner: beef tips with wellington sauce that he cooks just for you. Let’s take a look at three of his plays:
|That increases his passer rating. Put it in the stat book, Poindexter.|
Oh man, look at this beaut right here. Pure, innocent Jimmy Garoppolo is just dropping back, minding his own business, gonna fire out a nice, healthy, frozen rope over the middle when – uh oh – Calais Campbell decides to be a complete smartass and jump his 6’8” ass up in the air to deflect it. Try to stuff ‘em like a turkey, eh big fella? THINK AGAIN. Jimmy – extraordinary awareness – goes to where the ball is going to be AND: where most quarterbacks would just fall to the ground, Jimmy shows major stones and picks up three yards.
|Watching this pass fills me with the feeling I had the first time I heard the Beach Boys.|
Let’s set the scene: waning moments of a critical, nationally televised game. Your starting left tackle is out. Other team’s up by one. Third and 15. Midway through the fourth. Ball’s snapped. No one’s open. Clean pocket, but a Maccababy’s gotta do what a Maccababy’s gotta do. You swing to the left. There’s Danny and his perfect mustache. He’s bringing it back, like Freddie Mercury and John Bolton. Gotta get it to him. Set your feet. Cam Fleming just let his block go. Doesn’t matter. There’s a hole in zone coverage that needs some tenderness. Throw, absorb the hit, and hurry to the line – you got a first down and some more hearts to break, kid.
I mean, yeah, sure, it looks like Hollywood Chris Hogan is wide open, but in reality Jimmy had Adam authorize use of the Garoppolebeam. He got to the line of scrimmage, called some audible I don’t remember because it’s been months, and that somehow rustled the opposing team’s jimmies. That’s a veteran move. Know what else is a veteran move? Ever hear of chocolates, rose petals, white wine, a bubble bath, then letting Barry do the talking? Yeah, Jimmy Garoppolo invented that move.
By this point, Jimmy had found his pace. The next game, against the Miami Dolphins, featured Garoppolo throwing three unanswered touchdowns to open the game. No sweat at all. Everything seemed to come easy to him. Nothing was holding him back. There was no way h-
|NO NO NO NO NO NO NO|
238 lbs. courtesy of Kiko Alonso’s Delivery Service just shattered the microbones in his AC joint. Faced with the blistering prowess of rookie Jacoby Brissett, the Dolphins somehow came back to make the game somewhat close. I’m not saying God made the Patriots defense play better when Jimmy was in at quarterback, but I am saying that Tim Tebow played in New England, and that probably made Tha Big G pay extra close attention to New England. All I’m saying, folks.
That horrendous, despicable, illegal, deplorable hit kept Jimmothy out for the next 4-6 weeks, whereupon Jacoby delivered a shutout against the Houston Texans and an unimpressive outing against the Buffalo Bills. Brady came back, had arguably his best season ever (seems like we say this every year), engineered the single greatest comeback of all time, and won the Super Bowl. Now there’s three capable quarterbacks on the roster, and that’s an embarrassment of riches.
Keeping Jimmy would not be a horrible decision – he’s very clearly more talented than Jacoby, and he’s got the tape to prove it. Having Garoppolo replace Brady when the latter retires would make me exceedingly happy, and it would outrage all the haters and losers (of which there are many). Michael Lombardi (former special assistant to the coaching staff, and a brilliant football mind in his own right) strongly believes New England should keep Jimmy. Ed Werder doesn’t think he’ll be traded either. I can’t think of anyone better for Jimmy to sit and learn behind.
That being said, at the rate Brady’s going, Jimmy’s just never going to play if he stays in Foxboro. The law of averages says there’s a decent chance Jimmy will be out of the league before Brady retires (Brady wants to play another 5-6 years, while the average NFL career lasts somewhere on the order of three years). He’s going to want the opportunity to start somewhere – shooters gotta shoot, and all that – and it seems a bit ridiculous to assign the franchise tag to a backup quarterback next season. It would take a Godfather type of offer to move to steal beautiful Jimmy away. Can you imagine Cleveland’s #1 overall pick?
|"I can turn that into so many seventh round picks."|