The selection of Jimmy Garoppolo with a second-round pick three weeks ago touched off speculation that the rookie from Eastern Illinois is in town to replace Tom Brady.
Not very plausible but good fodder.
And it was brought up Thursday night when Robert Kraft appeared on NFL Network.
"We believe that Tom has a lot of play left. The way he takes care of his body, the way he eats, the way he plays, the way he trains, people look up to him," said Kraft. "At the same time, that’s a position [where] if you don’t have someone strong at that position, look what happened how Tommy took over in that game after 9/11 when we delayed a week? Mo Lewis, our friend from the Jets, took Drew [Bledsoe] out and if we didn’t have someone like Tommy in our system, it would have been very devastating. In any business, you always need disaster insurance [for] the most important thing. And now we have a young man [in Jimmy Garoppolo] that I hope he’s as good as everyone feels. I also hope he doesn’t get a chance to start for a long, long time.”
Brady made clear earlier this week he shares that sentiment.
Garoppolo, meanwhile, is in an interesting spot. He is the second-round pick nobody wants on the field. Including the owner.
Brady's current contract expires after the 2017 season when he will be 40.
Asked if he believes Brady will finish his career as a Patriot, Kraft said, “I sure hope so. We did something creative; he was a visionary and he allowed us to restructure his contract in a way that was good for us. I know I personally and our whole fanbase only want to see him always have that flying Elvis [Patriots logo on his helmet] or Pat Patriot if we’re doing throwbacks.”
Brady doesn't talk like a player near the end of the line. His play does show that he is either. Which may make things interesting when 40 rolls around.
Noted Kraft, "His drive and desire and burn – I don’t think people understand the amount of tape he watches and how he prepares. Whatever he feels is the biggest weakness in his game, he addresses them and comes on very strong. He’s gone to eight [championship games] I believe in his career – that doesn’t happen by accident. But we’re privileged to have a great coach and a great supporting cast.”