EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Tom Brady will start at quarterback for the Patriots Thursday night against the Giants. This will be the 17-year veteran's final action prior to his four-game suspension, which kicks in Saturday at 4 p.m.
The Patriots will keep temporary starter Jimmy Garoppolo out of harm's way. He is not expected to play at all.
Brady will give way to rookie Jacoby Brissett at some point in the game. Brissett was 9-for-9 last week in the late stages of New England's preseason game against Carolina. He could use as much run as possible this week since he'll be the primary backup to Garoppolo through September, unless the Patriots make an unexpected move for a veteran.
READ MORE HERE: Curran on Brady not letting go, even temporarily.
Brady expressed his desire to play this week, but after a shaky performance from Garoppolo last week against the Panthers, there was a school of thought that it was more urgent for Garoppolo to get himself right than for Brady to play.
Apparently the risk of getting Garoppolo dinged and being left with Brissett wasn't worth the possible reward of Garoppolo having a feel-good performance.
The Jaguars had plenty of talent last season, especially on defense.
But question marks remained due to some of their offensive players.
Could Blake Bortles play well enough to support the strong play of the Jacksonville defense?
He delivered this past season and helped bring the team to the AFC Championship.
Now he will be in Jacksonville for several years to come.
According to a report from NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, Bortles and the Jags have agreed to a new 3-year contract worth $54m.
Adam Schefter of ESPN confirmed the extension, adding that Bortles can earn up to $66.5m with incentives. The contract includes $26.5m guaranteed.
As he contemplates retirement to either become a wrestler or an action movie hero, Rob Gronkowski appears to be contemplating more than that.
OK, that's great. So, are you coming back to catch to touchdown passes from Tom Brady or not?
Not quite as easy to translate as Gronk's famous "pay cut" tweet from spring 2016, is it?
The tweet doesn't shed much light on it and whether the retirement talk is for real or a "contract ploy", the Gronk question looms over the Patriots' offseason as much as the Malcolm Butler mystery. It's actually more impactful since Butler's days in Foxboro are over. Are Gronk's?
As NBC Sports Boston Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran put it this week:
They can’t just sit with their hands folded in their laps and wait until Gronk gets around to deciding. They need to know is he in or is he out? Or if he’s completely ambivalent, at which point, would trading him be a horrific idea?
"...your destiny will be not just be reached, it will just be starting." Hmmm.