Jimmy G could be "the next great one" according to AFC Scouts

David Richard / AP Photo

Many outsiders were surprised when the Patriots didn't trade backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo this past offseason. With Tom Brady in the fold and teams like the Browns reportedly offering first-round picks and more for the young backup's services, it would have been perfectly understandable for Bill Belichick to sell high on his assets. So why didn't he? According to multiple anonymous scouts quoted by CSNNE, that's because Garoppolo could be the quarterback to continue the Pats' run of success.

Regarding Garoppolo's future with the team, an AFC scout said this:

To me, the answer is simple: Bill thinks he's got the next great one. I watched his snaps. I think he can be that. [Garoppolo] has a great base, and his mechanics are close enough to [Brady] that you appreciate his willingness to learn and the coaching he's gotten there.

In response, a second scout called Belichick's strategy "genius" and noted that he had Garoppolo tabbed with a first-round grade coming out of Eastern Illinois--and that "he's a hell of a lot better now...[the Patriots] can win with him." A former Pats player also quoted in the article said that "he can make all the throws...if he had gotten traded to Cleveland, they're a borderline playoff team." It's certainly high praise for a guy that's only started two games in his NFL career, but from what he's demonstrated so far it might not be that much of an exaggeration.

It remains to be seen what the Patriots will do with Garoppolo. He's only got one year left on his deal, and there's a solid chance he could walk away for nothing unless New England slaps him with the franchise tag. But no matter how much it costs to retain him, it's worth it: Tom Brady can't play forever, and a succession plan is becoming more important by the year. According to league scouts, it looks like the Pats have a great one.

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