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Should Chicago Bears make move for Garoppolo?

February 25, 2017 - Author: John-Mark and Chuck Mallory

 

Jimmy Garoppolo

New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo speaks with members of the media in the team’s locker room following an NFL football practice, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass.

by Bob LeGere

Reprinted with permission, Daily Herald, 2/2/2017

There’s no doubt about the biggest question facing the Chicago Bears this off-season.

Should they trade for New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to lead their bid to return to NFL prominence, or would they be better off using a high draft pick to get their quarterback of the future?

Bears general manager Ryan Pace has three months to find an answer to the most important decision he will make between now and the NFL draft. His future here and that of coach John Fox may depend on getting it right.

For a Bears team poised to move on from Jay Cutler, the Garoppolo scenario is too intriguing to ignore because the team doesn’t have a successor in place.

The Arlington Heights native, who starred at Rolling Meadows High School and then at Eastern Illinois before being drafted in the second round by the Patriots, has impressed in his limited opportunities in the NFL.

The Pats can afford to entertain offers for Garoppolo because Tom Brady is still playing at a Hall of Fame level at 39 and has indicated he wants to play for several more seasons. They also drafted Jacoby Brissett in the third round last year.

As usual, the Patriots are in the driver’s seat because they’re rich at quarterback and this is not considered a strong year for the position in the draft.

With that in mind, let’s consider the main arguments in this Bears debate.

No. 1: The top QBs in the draft all come with major concerns.

North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky is the consensus top prospect because he grades the highest in accuracy and mechanics. The biggest knock on Trubisky is that he has been a starter for just one year. But he still may not get past the Cleveland Browns, who have the first pick, and the San Francisco 49ers, who are next at second.

That doesn’t mean Trubisky will pay immediate dividends.

“It would shock me if, after one year as a starting quarterback, he were able to play at a high level as a rookie in the NFL,” ESPN’s Mel Kiper said.

But what if he’s there when the Bears are on the clock?

Clemson’s Deshaun Watson is not strong fundamentally and comes with accuracy concerns, but he’s a potential top-10 pick. He proved himself on the national stage and has great athleticism and intangibles such as leadership and experience.

Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer is the consensus third-best quarterback in the draft. He has prototypical size, athleticism and a strong arm, but he underachieved last season with inconsistent accuracy. Several draft analysts believe Kizer will be available when the Bears make their second-round pick (36th overall).

No. 2: Garoppolo is the safer pick.

The safer alternative is Garoppolo because he has three seasons of experience with the Patriots. It’s true that the vast majority of that time has been spent watching Brady play the position, but there’s also value in that.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick praised Garoppolo’s work ethic and his acceptance by the team last summer when the Bears traveled to practice with the Patriots.

“I think that happened Day One when he came here,” Belichick said. “He’s always done that. I don’t think it’s been any different this year. He has grown this year, but I don’t think his approach has been any different. Jimmy has good presence for the position. I think he always has.”

The 2016 season was supposed to be Garoppolo’s opportunity to show his readiness to be a starter because Brady was suspended for the first four games for his alleged role in “Deflategate.”

But after less than six quarters as the starter, Garoppolo was sidelined with a right-shoulder injury that kept him out for several weeks. Before getting injured, Garoppolo was spectacular, completing 42 of 59 passes (71.2 percent) for 496 yards, 4 touchdowns, zero interceptions and a passer rating of 119.0.

He has one year remaining on his four-year, $3.48 million rookie contract, but no team that trades for him would do so without a long-term extension in place.

No. 3: The Patriots won’t let Garoppolo go cheaply.

Rumors suggest the starting point in trade talks with the Patriots is a first- and fourth-round draft pick for the 25-year-old Garoppolo.

That’s too much to give up in the Bears’ case, since they hold the third overall selection. Too much unless they’re convinced he is worth much more than he was in 2014, when he was a late second-round pick (62nd overall).

Since then, adding in garbage-time appearances to his two starts, he has completed 63 of 94 passes for 690 yards with 5 touchdown passes and no interceptions for a rating of 106.2.

That’s not a large enough body of work for the Bears to give up the third overall pick unless they’re convinced Garoppolo is their long-term answer at quarterback.

Don’t forget how impressively the Bears’ No. 3 quarterback, Matt Barkley, played last season before he crashed and burned.

In his first three starts, Barkley had an 83.0 passer rating with 4 TD passes and 2 interceptions. After opponents had three games’ worth of film on him, Barkley threw 10 interceptions and 4 TD passes in his next three starts for a 66.0 passer rating. He also lost 2 fumbles on sacks.

The Bears and others will proceed more cautiously than the Houston Texans did last off-season when they signed unrestricted free agent Brock Osweiler to a four-year, $72 million deal that included $37 million guaranteed. The Texans overspent for Osweiler after he had accumulated just seven mildly encouraging starts in four years with Broncos, and they wound up benching him. Osweiler finished 29th in the league with a disappointing 72.2 rating.

No. 4: Comparing apples and oranges in the NFL.

When the Philadelphia Eagles traded Sam Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings just before the start of the 2016 season, they got a first-round pick this year and a fourth-rounder in 2018.

But the two situations are not comparable. The Vikings were in panic mode after Teddy Bridgewater went down with an injury on the eve of what Minnesota expected would be a playoff season.

The Bears have no such reasonable expectations for next season, regardless of who is at quarterback.

More important, Bradford was the No. 1 overall pick in 2010, and a more proven commodity than Garoppolo.

Bradford had made 64 NFL starts before the Vikings traded for him, and had 54 TD passes vs. 31 interceptions in three seasons.

In 2013, the Kansas City Chiefs gave up a second-round pick (34th overall) and a conditional pick (which became a second-rounder) to the 49ers for Alex Smith. But Smith was 29 and had started 75 games, posting a 38-36-1 record. Smith also was a No. 1 overall pick (2005).

The Bears won’t be the only team interested in Garoppolo. The Browns (at No. 1), and the 49ers (No. 2) have critical needs at quarterback.

Still, it’s conceivable the Bears could offer their second-round pick this year (36th overall) and a fourth-rounder next year for Garoppolo.

That would allow Pace to draft a defensive difference-maker in the first round and also get a quarterback of the future who’s ready to play right now.

Comments are closed - Categories: Team News

Jimmy Garoppolo Video: Meet the Garoppolos

September 9, 2016 - Author: John-Mark and Chuck Mallory

This coming Sunday, Jimmy Garoppolo will play the quarterback position for New England Patriots as they play the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ (8:30 pm EDT, 7:30 pm CDT, on NBC).

Tom Brady will miss the first four games as Patriots QB due to the NFL-imposed four-game Deflategate suspension.

In case you missed it, here is a video from the New England Patriots about their up-and-coming star, Jimmy Garoppolo. You get to travel to his quaint hometown of Arlington Heights, IL, meet the parents and brothers, see him drive his snappy new Chevy, and much more.

This exemplifies what a down-to-earth guy he is–as is his family. When he was drafted, it was the first time any of the family members had been to New York!

Jimmy Garoppolo Video

Want to keep up on a daily basis with the latest news on Jimmy Garoppolo? Follow this Twitter account: Jimmy Garoppolo Fans.

 

Comments are closed - Categories: Games, Tom Brady

Tom Brady Releases Statement on NFL’s “Deflategate” Ruling

July 29, 2015 - Author: John-Mark and Chuck Mallory

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady released the following statement on his Facebook page on Wednesday:

“I am very disappointed by the NFL’s decision to uphold the 4 game suspension against me. I did nothing wrong, and no one in the Patriots organization did either.

Despite submitting to hours of testimony over the past 6 months, it is disappointing that the Commissioner upheld my suspension based upon a standard that it was “probable” that I was “generally aware” of misconduct. The fact is that neither I, nor any equipment person, did anything of which we have been accused. He dismissed my hours of testimony and it is disappointing that he found it unreliable.

I also disagree with yesterdays narrative surrounding my cellphone. I replaced my broken Samsung phone with a new iPhone 6 AFTER my attorneys made it clear to the NFL that my actual phone device would not be subjected to investigation under ANY circumstances. As a member of a union, I was under no obligation to set a new precedent going forward, nor was I made aware at any time during Mr. Wells investigation, that failing to subject my cell phone to investigation would result in ANY discipline.

Most importantly, I have never written, texted, emailed to anybody at anytime, anything related to football air pressure before this issue was raised at the AFC Championship game in January. To suggest that I destroyed a phone to avoid giving the NFL information it requested is completely wrong.

To try and reconcile the record and fully cooperate with the investigation after I was disciplined in May, we turned over detailed pages of cell phone records and all of the emails that Mr. Wells requested. We even contacted the phone company to see if there was any possible way we could retrieve any/all of the actual text messages from my old phone. In short, we exhausted every possibility to give the NFL everything we could and offered to go thru the identity for every text and phone call during the relevant time. Regardless, the NFL knows that Mr. Wells already had ALL relevant communications with Patriots personnel that either Mr. Wells saw or that I was questioned about in my appeal hearing. There is no “smoking gun” and this controversy is manufactured to distract from the fact they have zero evidence of wrongdoing.

I authorized the NFLPA to make a settlement offer to the NFL so that we could avoid going to court and put this inconsequential issue behind us as we move forward into this season. The discipline was upheld without any counter offer. I respect the Commissioners authority, but he also has to respect the CBA and my rights as a private citizen. I will not allow my unfair discipline to become a precedent for other NFL players without a fight.

Lastly, I am overwhelmed and humbled by the support of family, friends and our fans who have supported me since the false accusations were made after the AFC Championship game. I look forward to the opportunity to resume playing with my teammates and winning more games for the New England Patriots.”

Although Brady doesn’t specifically mention taking this case to court, the legal battle has already been set in motion by the NFL. The League filed a legal brief on Tuesday in a New York Federal Appeals Court in order to try and keep the possible trial in that state. Brady also makes no mention of Jimmy Garoppolo taking over at quarterback during his suspension, and that is likely because he is hoping to have this suspension be erased altogether. It remains to be seen if Brady will be able to play while this case is in court, and it will likely depend on the judge overseeing the case. Keep checking jimmygaroppolo.net for more updates on this story, as there will surely be plenty of since this case is still developing.

Comments are closed - Categories: Team News

NFL Upholds Brady’s Suspension, Case Headed to Court

- Author: John-Mark and Chuck Mallory

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell upheld the league’s four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on Tuesday, setting up what could be a long court battle between the league and the star player. The four-game suspension stems from Brady’s alleged role in the “Deflategate” scandal, in which Patriots team employees are accused of deliberately deflating footballs in order to aid the team in their 2014 AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. After the ruling was made public on Tuesday, Brady’s agent Don Yee released a strongly-worded statement against the NFL:

“The discipline is ridiculous and has no legitimate basis. In my opinion, this outcome was pre-determined; there was no fairness in the Wells investigation whatsoever. There is no evidence that Tom directed footballs be set at pressures below the allowable limits. In fact, the evidence shows Tom clearly emphasized that footballs be set at pressures within the rules. Tom also cooperated with the investigation and answered every question presented to him. The Wells Report presents significant evidence, however, that the NFL lacks standards or protocols with respect to its handling of footballs prior to games; this is not the fault of Tom or the Patriots. The report also presents significant evidence the NFL participated with the Colts in some type of pre-AFC Championship Game planning regarding the footballs. This fact may raise serious questions about the integrity of the games we view on Sundays.”

“We will appeal, and if the hearing officer is completely independent and neutral, I am very confident the Wells Report will be exposed as an incredibly frail exercise in fact-finding and logic. The NFL has a well-documented history of making poor disciplinary decisions that often are overturned when truly independent and neutral judges or arbitrators preside, and a former federal judge has found the commissioner has abused his discretion in the past, so this outcome does not surprise me. Sadly, today’s decision diminishes the NFL as it tells its fans, players and coaches that the games on the field don’t count as much as the games played on Park Avenue.”

The NFL has already filed a request to a New York Federal Appeals Court, asking them to uphold the suspension of Brady. It is clear that this case is now going to court, and with that being the case Jimmy Garoppolo will likely start the season as the Patriots’ starting quarterback. However, there is a chance that the court will grant an injunction to Brady that would allow him to play without being suspended while the case is heard in court. This could prove more risky for the Patriots because if the court upholds the decision towards the end of the season, Brady could be forced to serve his suspension during crucial games for the team.

For now it appears that Garoppolo will get a chance to start the first four games of the season for the Patriots. If there is any update on the situation in regards to Brady starting, we will definitely cover it. This is a big test for Garoppolo, but also a huge opportunity for him to prove that he has what it takes to be an NFL starting quarterback. Keep checking back for updates on this story as there will surely be many in the coming weeks!

Comments are closed - Categories: Team News

Garoppolo Sees First NFL Game Action, Impresses in Blowout loss to Chiefs

September 30, 2014 - Author: John-Mark and Chuck Mallory

jimmy g chiefs

Jimmy Garoppolo made his first appearance in an NFL regular season game during the New England Patriots 41-14 blowout loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night. With about 8 minutes left in regulation Tom Brady threw his second interception of the game (the interception was returned for a touchdown). With the game out of reach at 41-7, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick made the decision to go with Garoppolo.

Garoppolo entered the game and drove the Patriots offense down the field for a touchdown. Garoppolo connected with all-pro tight end Rob Gronkowski for a 13-yard touchdown pass, which was the first NFL touchdown of Garoppolo’s career. Although the game was out of reach when Garoppolo entered, he was able to play two series with the offense and perform very well. While the second series stalled because of a bad penalty by the Patriots, Garoppolo finished the game with six out of seven passes completed for 70 yards and a touchdown. It was a nice showing for the rookie from Eastern Illinois University.

jimmygchiefs2

 

“Obviously the first time, there’s obviously a bunch of learning experiences,” Garoppolo said. “Good experience in general to get that out of the way. We’ll go back, watch the tape, I’m sure there’s tons to learn from it.”

It was definitely not anticipated by Patriots’ fans that Garoppolo would see the field so soon in the season, but the offense hasn’t performed up to par and there has been a lot of criticism of Tom Brady. Through four games this season, Brady has only completed 43 percent of passes greater than five yards, which is second worst in the NFL behind Buffalo Bills QB E.J. Manuel. The Bills announced earlier this week that Manuel will be benched. The pass protection also hasn’t been there for Brady, who has already been sacked 10 times through four games. Clearly, the Patriots offense needs to step up, or Garoppolo could see more time in upcoming games.

sad brady

There was also some buzz about Brady not congratulating Garoppolo when he came off the field after the Patriots touchdown drive, as other Patriots players and coaches gathered around him to show some love. However, this shouldn’t be seen as a big deal because Brady often spends time by himself on the sideline, especially during losing games. During the postgame press conference, a reporter even asked Belichick if he would “Evaluate the quarterback position”. The coach snickered to himself and shook his head to indicate “No”, a clear sign that Brady’s job isn’t in danger. It seems Garoppolo knows his role on the team too.

“I’m a relief pitcher, pretty much, so that’s my job,” Garoppolo said. “Go out there and put plays together. That’s all you can do at that point.”

Garoppolo may be a relief pitcher for now, but with the Patriots struggling mightily, he may be playing in more games this season. Keep checking jimmygaroppolo.net for more news and updates!

Comments are closed - Categories: Games

Garoppolo Battles for Backup Job as Mallett Trade Rumors Swirl

August 25, 2014 - Author: John-Mark and Chuck Mallory

Jimmy Garoppolo has had an impressive preseason both in practice and in game action. He’s continued to show that he can take care of the ball and run the Patriots offense when he’s called on. Many around the league are starting to take notice of Garoppolo, too. There’s a good chance that the kid from Eastern Illinois University could be the backup behind Tom Brady as early as the start of this season.

Garoppolo has been praised for not turning the ball over this preseason, as well as running an efficient offense and converting on scoring drives in each of his first three preseason games. Now with a major injury to a starting NFL quarterback, there’s a chance Garoppolo could be all alone as the backup quarterback for the Patriots. The St. Louis Rams reported Sunday that their starting quarterback Sam Bradford tore his ACL for the second season in a row and is now out for the season. This has already started trade rumors and at the center of them has been Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett.

Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots

Mallett has had a decent preseason, but he’s only taken reps as the backup quarterback for a small amount of time. He’s been at third on the depth chart the rest of the time, as Garoppolo continues to show that he can be counted on to run the offense if Tom Brady ever were to go down with an injury. Mallett was regarded as a possible starting quarterback in years past, but he has regressed a bit this year. The rumors involving Mallett involve the Patriots getting a draft pick in return. This would be an ideal situation for the Rams, who don’t want to give up too much for a replacement player like Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez, who has also been involved in trade rumors.

Meanwhile, the Patriots announced on Monday that Garoppolo will start the team’s fourth preseason game, and possibly play for the entire game. This is a huge opportunity for Garoppolo to show what he has in an extended sample size, and it’s also an indication that the team isn’t too concerned about evaluating Mallett very much further. The last preseason game is generally a time for the backup players to showcase their talent, so all eyes will be on Garoppolo as he tries to cement his status as fulltime backup quarterback. The team hasn’t made an official announcement on who the backup will be, but almost all signs point to Garoppolo.

Garoppolo had another great preseason effort last Friday against the Carolina Panthers. He completed nine out of twelve passes that included a touchdown pass to Taylor McCuller in the fourth quarter. Showing a veteran-like presence, he again committed no turnovers in the game. Although Mallett did get backup quarterback reps in this game, it was the same scenario Garoppolo faced last week when he was unexpectedly inserted into the game early. Mallett only attempted three passes in his time in the game, so the team still seems focused on Garoppolo as a backup.

jimmy panthers

This is a big week of practice and obviously a big preseason game for Garoppolo. Although he’s played very well this preseason, he still hasn’t officially earned the backup job for the Patriots. It will take a big effort in practice and a good game for Garoppolo to gain the spot. Keep checking jimmygaroppolo.net for more updates and information on the Garoppolo’s progress.

 

 

Comments are closed - Categories: Games

Jimmy Garoppolo’s First NFL Game

August 8, 2014 - Author: John-Mark and Chuck Mallory

JimmyG

Jimmy Garoppolo shined in his NFL debut Thursday, completing 9 of 13 passes for 157 yards and the New England Patriots’ only touchdown of the night during a 23-6 preseason loss to the Washington Redskins.

Garoppolo is currently 3rd on the Patriots’ QB depth chart behind starter Tom Brady and backup Ryan Mallett. But with Brady sitting out the team’s first preseason game, Mallett struggled in the first half against the Redskins’ starting defense. Garoppolo stepped in to play the entire second half, and was finally able to get the offense going.

GeneralPatriotsShot

Garoppolo completed a 26-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brian Tyms late in the fourth quarter to help the Patriots avoid a shutout. Garoppolo also had a couple of good offensive drives stall in the third quarter because of a fumble and a failed fourth down conversion. Although the Patriots lost the game, there were a lot of positives for the offense, especially for Garoppolo. He didn’t want to give himself too much credit, though.

“I did all right. There is a lot of stuff to improve on. It’s a process,” Garoppolo said “For any rookie quarterback, there’s a lot to learn from. We’ll go watch the tape and go fix those things.” He added, “The offense, we struggled at times today, but we were clicking at times, too.”

It was also the first NFL game that Garoppolo has ever attended, and it was a special event for the quarterback and his family.

“It was really cool,” Garoppolo said. “Parents, brothers, grandpa were all here. They got to see it and I haven’t seen them in a while; it was a great experience.”

Garoppolo will look to build on his offensive success in the first Patriots’ home game this preseason against the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, August 19th.

Comments are closed - Categories: Games

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