Jimmy Garoppolo was in line to be Tom Brady's successor in New England, then the Patriots made the surprising choice to send the heir apparent to San Francisco.
But what if they decided to hold on to Garoppolo? Would the Patriots be better positioned for 2020 and for the future?
Albert Breer of The MMQB isn't convinced Bill Belichick and Co. would have been able to make a smooth transition from their Hall-of-Fame QB to his replacement. He explained why, as well as why it isn't such a bad thing, Tuesday on Boston Sports Tonight (video above).
"I don't know that there really was a way where they could have pulled off the transition cleanly based on how well Brady played into his 40s," Breer said. "That's not a bad result, either. If the result of all of this is you wind up getting your second-round pick back and you lit a fire under Tom Brady to where you were able to go to four Super Bowls in five years and win three of them, that's a pretty good result too."
The Green Bay Packers have a similar quarterback situation this year following their first-round selection of Jordan Love. Aaron Rodgers' production had dipped over the last couple of seasons, but following the veteran QB has been stellar through the first few games of 2020.
"I think to some degree what you're seeing in Green Bay was a result of them seeing what happened in New England and how that really worked out for their veteran quarterback," Breer said. "So I do think there's a piece of this that shouldn't be ignored which is, maybe Tom Brady doesn't play quite as well if he doesn't have Jimmy Garoppolo kind of chasing after him over the last five years he was in New England."
The move obviously worked out in the short-term for the Patriots as Brady went on to bring two more Super Bowl titles to New England after Garoppolo's departure. As for the long-term? The jury is still out.