Is It Time to Trade Brady?

Forty is not a good number for quarterbacks

What I’m about to say may make some people lose their minds, but I believe the Patriots should trade Tom Brady and make Jimmy Garoppolo the franchise quarterback. I know this sounds insane. I even questioned myself when I thought about it because Brady is arguably the best quarterback of all time. But the more I thought, the more it made sense. Garoppollo is 24 and Brady is 39, and when quarterbacks hit 40, they absolutely fall off a cliff when it comes to performance.

In less than two games Garoppolo led the Patriots to four touchdowns and 496 yards with a 117.1 passer rating. He had no interceptions and only one fumble lost. Garoppolo led the Pats to a 2-0 record while emerging as a team leader. If he was not injured, I believe the Patriots would have been 4-0 leading up to Brady’s return.

When quarterbacks hit 40, they absolutely fall off a cliff.”

— Dillon Stephan

At 39, Brady shows no signs of decline, but that could also be said of two other recently retired superstar quarterbacks. Brett Favre and Peyton Manning are considered to be among the best quarterbacks of all time, but both became shells of themselves once they turned 40.

At 39 Favre and Manning had MVP caliber seasons.  Favre had 33 touchdowns with seven interceptions and 4,200 yards with a 107.2 passer rating while leading the Minnesota Vikings to a 12-4 record. Manning had 39 touchdowns with 15 interceptions and 4,727 yards with a 101.5 passer rating while leading the Denver Broncos to a 12-4 record. But the next year, Favre only played 13 games, with 2,500 yards, 11 touchdowns, 19 interceptions and a 69.9 passer rating, the lowest in his 20-year career. Manning only played 10 games with 2,200 yards, nine touchdowns, 17 interceptions and a 67.9 passer rating, the lowest in his 18-year career.

The Patriots need to trade Brady and think about the future. If they trade him now, they could easily obtain a first round draft pick, which could result in a starting player. Belichick could mold Garoppolo into the next Brady, and the new face of the NFL. Garoppolo’s contract is up in 2018. The Patriots need to commit to him so he doesn’t leave town as a free agent.

Brady says he wants to play for as long as he can. He even follows a specialized training and diet regimen designed to extend his playing time, but will it work? And, for how long?

I could be completely wrong. Brady might play at an elite level for the next five years, but no one knows for sure. I would rather be safe than sorry. Brady has been amazing for the Patriots. I know it would be harsh and even mean to let him go, but for the betterment of the franchise, they should trade Brady now, get a good return, then build the team around Garoppolo, a new superstar quarterback who might be the greatest of all time and who could be in the league for the next 15-20 years, helping the Patriots continue their long string of success.

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