It’s a quiet morning here on this Tuesday, but here’s a look at today’s top stories.
There’s been some rumblings over the past few weeks regarding how the end of Tom Brady’s career will play out, along with how New England can potentially transition to Jimmy Garoppolo. With Garoppolo heading into the final year of his contract, his situation will likely be one of the most watched when this season comes to an end, especially since all sign seem to indicate that he might be their quarterback of the future.
The complicated aspect of that discussion is going to be how the club can potentially keep him in the fold behind Brady until the veteran calls it a career. Financially, it’s going to be a challenge. Quarterbacks make the highest salaries amount position players if they get franchised and on Monday, Mike Reiss pondered one scenario of how the team might handle their back-up quarterback.
According to Reiss, he feels that a proactive move to sign Garoppolo to a 1-year, $24 million extension might make the most sense since they can spread the cap hit out over two years. Reiss used that amount because it’s a figure that is projected to be close to the franchise tag after the season.
With $19 million in available cap space, New England certainly has room to work with if they really feel that strongly about keeping him. It’s also a move that would give Garoppolo the payday he’s likely been quietly waiting for, while keeping him in the fold through two more seasons while Brady continues trying to win a couple of more championships before he retires.
It’s a complex situation and one that may be one of the most important for the Patriots to make sure they don’t mishandle if the door on one of the most amazing eras comes to a close in the next couple of years.
Good quarterbacks are tough to find and whoever replaces Brady will have some big shoes to fill. Garoppolo has shown that he can at least wear them, which explains why he remained here through the draft. Whether or not he can reach anywhere near Brady’s level remains to be seen, but all signs seem to point to him being here for the foreseeable future. Now it’s just up to the Patriots to figure out how to get it done.
Bennett made quite the impression in his one year with the club.
Bennett Planning a Visit to Boston’s Children Hospital – While it was tough to see Martellus Bennett move on this offseason, there’s no question that he made quite the impression during his one season in New England.
One of the biggest things that stood out was his affinity for the community and as he gets ready to make a return to receive his Super Ring during the team’s upcoming party on Friday night, he’s planning on making an important stop.
Bennett announced on his Instagram account that he’s planning on making a visit at Boston’s Children’s Hospital with the hopes of bringing a few smiles and raising the spirits of the kids who are being treated there.
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I'm going back to Boston this Friday to get my Super Bowl ring. It made me start thinking about some of my favorite places in a wonderful town. One place I'll be stopping by which is the best place in Boston @bostonchildrens to make some kids laugh and hand out Football Marty Pillows. Yaaayyyy!!! This was one of my last visits there. #theimaginationagency #martyland @bleacherreport
While some may be upset that he opted for a big pay day in Green Bay to join Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, it’s hard to argue that Bennett’s heart isn’t in the right place. He put together a memorable season in his one year here and left quite an impression, and hopefully the kids he’ll visit Friday get to have a little fun with a player who brought a lot of laughs and terrific moments in his one year with the club.
Patriots Cut Vereen, Add CB Likely III – The Patriots announced a transaction on Monday, with the team cutting undrafted free agent defensive lineman Corey Vereen in favor of another undrafted hopeful in Will Likely III.
Likely is a player whose potential upside coming off of a season-ending knee injury last season at Maryland must have resonated enough with the Patriots for them to take a chance on him. The former cornerback-returner tore his ACL back on October 15th, seemingly knocking off the board of teams in the NFL and now has him hungry to earn a spot on someone’s roster.
He’s a talented player, with one aspect of his game standing out in his ability to return kicks. Likely earned All-American honors and the Big Ten Return Specialist of the Year award in 2015. He also made a name for himself on defense, finishing as a first-team all-conference defender in 2014, picking off six passes.
He’s been working hard and told the Baltimore Sun back in November that he knew his chance would come.
“That’s going to come, right now it’s just rehabbing and getting back right,” he said of his NFL career. “Once I get there, once it happens, there’s no doubt in my mind what’s going to happen. Right now it’s just trying to get back as healthy as possible.”
It appears that opportunity will come with the Patriots, who with his addition have a pretty good group at that position that should be fun to watch heading into training camp.
Patriots Sign Garcia – The Patriots announced another signing on Monday, with the team getting another draft pick under contract.
The team agreed to terms on a deal with 2017 third-round pick Tony Garcia, with the 23-year-old standout from Troy officially now in the fold with the team.
He said back in April that it had been a fun journey getting to this point, having gone from a player who wasn’t heavily recruited out of high school to being a third-round selection in the NFL. Now it’s just up to him to make the most of it.
“It’s not really where you start or how you start, it’s where you finish,” said Garcia. “It doesn’t matter where you go to school if you just perform well while you’re there. I think I’m a testament to that and I’m just happy to have the opportunity.”
Garcia’s signing now leaves just defensive end Derek Rivers as the lone draft selection remaining unsigned.
Posted Under: Daily Patriots Rundown