While Tom Brady may not be the ‘Football Jesus’ that he used to be, he is still one of the best quarterbacks roaming the league. Though earlier this summer ESPN analyst Sam Monson declared Brady one of the top 5 quarterbacks in the league, most people consider Brady on the quarterback Mount Rushmore.
Earlier this week, the 37-year-old quarterback was asked about how long he plans to keep playing football at a professional level. His response was perfect:
Though Brady hopes to play until he physically can’t be competitive anymore, it’s not what is best for the New England Patriots. Though retirement is not imminent for Brady, who threw for 4,343 yards and 25 touchdowns last season, his offensive production is definitely on the decline.
While some of this can be chalked up to a lack of receivers the last couple years, Brady isn’t superman anymore. The Patriots will soon have to look towards the future, and they can’t wait for Brady to ‘suck’. By then, it would be far too late.
When the Pats drafted Ryan Mallet back in 2011, he immediately became Brady’s replacement in the eyes of many fans and experts. The thought was that Brady’s production would have fallen drastically by age 37. When that became clearly false, Mallet, once a third round pick, was shipped off to Houston for a 7th round conditional pick.
Mallet, who only played four regular season games for the Patriots in his three years in New England (back in 2012), was never given a chance to show what he could do. The little time he had this preseason doesn’t exactly count as a ‘chance’. It was a high pressure situation with very limited reps. What a waste of a pick; they essentially threw away their 2011 3rd round pick.
Fast forward to the 2014 draft, Jimmy Garoppolo gets picked in the 2nd Round, 62nd overall. This time, a 2nd round pick was wasted to get Brady’s replacement. If Brady wants to play until he ‘sucks’, which at this rate could be another four years, Garoppolo’s rookie contract will be up and the cycle will start again.
Brady was sacked a total of 40 times last year, the most since his sophomore year in the league. With Mankins, his best guard, now gone, Brady looks to be in for a rough year in the pocket. The Patriots added TE Tim Wright to the roster in the Mankins deal, but his blocking ability is nothing like Hernandez’s was when they ran their two TE spread.
With Brady scheduled to take more hits this year, the aging process could be accelerated. The last thing fans should want is Brady playing for “a long time”. His decline will be more noticeable in the next few seasons than it was in the last few. Belichick and the Patriots would be better off moving on to Garoppolo within the next two to three seasons before Brady’s sucking days begin. Otherwise, say goodbye to another valuable draft pick.