Could This Be Tom Brady's Last Year as Patriots' Starting Quarterback?
One AFC coach believes that this will be Tom Brady's last year as starting quarterback of the New England Patriots.
The coach, who spoke to Albert Breer of The MMQB on condition of anonymity, based his pronouncement on the Patriots' decision to keep backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo despite receiving lucrative offers for him before the 2017 NFL Draft.
"It made me think the Tom Brady situation isn't what everyone thinks it is," the coach told Breer. "Bill (Belichick) does unconventional things. Maybe he trades Jimmy during the season. Or maybe he keeps Jimmy and says goodbye to Tom after the year."
Last season, Garoppolo started two games in Brady's place as the latter served a four-game suspension in connection with the "Deflategate" scandal. He completed 68.3 percent of his passes for 502 yards and four touchdowns without an interception.
The Cleveland Browns actively pursued Garoppolo before and even during the 2017 NFL Draft. According Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, the Browns contacted the Patriots during the first round of the Draft, inquiring about the availability of Garoppolo for the No. 12 overall pick, but they were turned down.
The unnamed mentor said the Patriots could have gotten several picks for Garoppolo but head coach Bill Belichick thought that the backup quarterback is more valuable than a pick or two. The Patriots had no first- or second-round picks in the 2017 NFL Draft.
According to Steve DelVecchio of Larry Brown Sports, Belichick will keep Garoppolo as insurance in case the 40-year-old Brady falters or get injured next season.
The issue on Brady's health came up this week after his wife, Gisele Bundchen, claimed that the veteran quarterback suffered "concussions" in 2016. The NFL Players Association said it will look into Bundchen's statement.
Bundchen's claim created controversy as Brady hasn't been listed on a Patriots injury report with a concussion since 2003. In previous injury reports, Brady was mentioned to have thigh, knee and ankle injuries but not concussion.
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