He couldn’t, or at least didn’t. Instead, up against a 4 p.m. Tuesday trade deadline, Belichick awoke Monday morning, looked over his 6-2 team, and found a deal for Garoppolo, sending him to
There is still time for Belichick to move the pick elsewhere in the league for a part he believes the Patriots require to win the Super Bowl this season. In Foxborough, the goal is singular – the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The Patriots have done it five times under the stewardship of Belichick, including two of the past three years.
The needs are there. The defense is still seeking its footing, trying to duplicate the strength from last year. A pass rusher is coveted. A replacement for
Or maybe Belichick can’t find anything he wants and sits on the pick, which can’t help him until next season, but considering Brady’s longevity is still important.
Mainly though, this was a day that had to come. Belichick held out as long as he could, using Garoppolo as a security blanket in case Brady went down during the first half of the season. At this point though, he would be an expensive backup, missing out on a high second-round pick, or whatever that can fetch and get on the field this season.
Much of this is about Brady’s ability to remain healthy. Every quarterback is one hit away from having his career end, but even at 40, Brady looks and moves as well as he ever has. He is vowing to play until his mid-40s. Who knows.
New England is all in on that. Belichick traded third-string quarterback
New England is expected to sign
For Belichick, this move likely came down to two calculations. Either, that the drop-off from Garoppolo to Hoyer either isn’t that big or that the drop off from Brady to anyone is so great it doesn’t matter who the backup is. Essentially, this was an example of Belichick looking at a flawed team and figuring the Patriots can win it all only with Brady at his best and anything else is doomed anyway, so why clutch onto Garoppolo and then watch him walk out the door after the season.
Belichick has built an empire in New England by making those bold decisions better than anyone. It’s not that he doesn’t misjudge talent or impact (Dorsett, among others, prove that from a bad 2017 offseason). It’s not that he doesn’t make bad draft picks or trades.
He tends to know what he needs though. Last year, he shipped out pass rusher
So now, Belichick is putting it all on Brady, not just to be his usual brilliant self, but to stay in one piece. Garoppolo was too valued an asset to not deal. He waited as long as he could, but with the season half gone, with another Super Bowl still possible, with Brady’s window of greatness appearing as open as it ever has been, he made the deal.
All or nothing in New England, just like always.