Wonderful news! The Bears are expected to make an all-out effort to obtain New England’s Jimmy Garoppolo, which must mean they believe the Patriots are willing to trade their talented young quarterback.
CBSSports.com reports that “the Illinois native is far and away their top offseason priority.’’
Is this something the Bears should do?
Absolutely. By all means. Please do.
But, um, er, uh, wait a second. When was the last time Patriots coach Bill Belichick traded a valuable asset, especially a 25-year-old quarterback? The old ball coach doesn’t do anything without thought or, when it comes to competitive advantage, malice. Are we all getting played here? Is more trouble about to be visited upon the Bears? Was the Jay Cutler Debacle just finger food before an entrée of complete disaster?
Ah, now we get to the crux of the situation, the nagging feeling, based on a long history of very bad things happening, that what seems like such a wonderful solution to the Bears’ biggest problem could be another con game. One can’t shake the image of earnest Bears general manager Ryan Pace, a stalk of wheat in his mouth, stopping to watch Belichick hide the pea under one of three shells and asking, “Hey, mister, can I play?’’
If Garoppolo were that good, why would Belichick be willing to let him go?
How can Belichick be sure that 39-year-old Tom Brady will play another 10 years, the quarterback’s stated goal, or even one healthy year after Sunday’s Super Bowl? How long before Brady will need reading glasses to make out the print on his play-call wristband? Would Belichick really give up Garoppolo if the kid were a star waiting to happen?
Do you see what the coach/evil genius does to your head? You know that he knows that you aren’t as smart as he is. So if he’s willing to trade Garoppolo, what’s the catch?
That Garoppolo’s right arm is actually attached to his body with masking tape?
That the few “games’’ Garoppolo has played in for the Patriots were actually simulated productions filmed in a studio backlot?
That Garoppolo says during team meetings, “I know I’m repeating myself, but what’s the difference between the X’s and the O’s?”
The Bears need a quarterback in the worst way, a young one preferably. Cutler was found to be lacking a long time ago. A 3-13 season means the Bears have the third pick overall in the draft, which means they might be able to get a good quarterback who has a long career ahead of him. Problem: The “experts’’ say this draft is thin for quarterbacks.
Garoppolo could be the solution. The former Rolling Meadows High School and Eastern Illinois star has had only two starts in his career, both this season while Brady was serving his Deflategate suspension, and he played very well in them. That Pace and Garoppolo went to the same college is more of a trivia question than it is anything of substance. But still, where do we sign up for him?
He’ll become a free agent after the 2017 season, so if the Patriots plan on sticking with Brady as their long-term starter, now is the time to get value for Garoppolo. Otherwise, he walks away after next season and New England gets nothing.
It’s possible the Patriots will try to sign Garoppolo to a contract that would be the envy of backup quarterbacks everywhere, but if he’s a competitor, he has to be itching to be a starter. And the contract he’ll be able to sign with the Bears or some other team will be big, much bigger than the one the Patriots likely would be able to give him as a No. 2.
Perhaps New England will surprise everybody and choose Garoppolo over Brady, a la the Packers choosing Aaron Rodgers over Brett Favre, but I don’t think so.
Some of you might bristle at the thought of the Bears possibly trading a high first-round draft pick for a largely unproven quarterback and then throwing money at him. But that’s the NFL. Quarterbacks are everything. If you have a good one, you’re going to win more games than you lose. If you don’t, you won’t.
Hence, the roll of the dice on Garoppolo, who might or might not be more of a sure thing than anybody the Bears can get in the draft. But Belichick and Brady have tutored him, and few people have had a better football education.
Then again, why would Belichick be willing to deal him?
I have to go now. I have a headache.
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