Tom Brady is just a few months removed from orchestrating the greatest comeback in the history of the Super Bowl to win his fifth career championship, but he will soon turn 40 years old and the Patriots seemingly have a capable heir apparent in Jimmy Garoppolo.
According to Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe, Bill Belichick will have to make some very difficult decisions regarding the future of Tom Brady, who has stated he plans to play another six or seven years. On Thursday's episode of Undisputed, Bayless and Sharpe broke down how the transition from Brady to Garoppolo could play out, and Bayless argued that Belichick may be hoping his legendary QB shows his age in 2017.
If Bill Belichick didn't believe in Jimmy Garoppolo, he'd be gone by now
“Let me tell you how it’s going to play out. I believe [the] 2018 season, at best, will be Tom Brady’s last season in New England. Now he might play five or six more years, but he’s not playing it in New England.
We’ve seen guys before be considered ‘Tom Brady’s replacement.’ And [Belichick] let Ryan Mallett go, let Brian Hoyer go, let Rohan Davey go.
And he had an opportunity in the draft [to let Garoppolo go] - now maybe he wanted too [many draft picks] for Jimmy Garoppolo. If he thought Jacoby Brissett could really be the bridge from Tom Brady and could lead this team on, he would have moved Jimmy Garoppolo and got something for him. He didn’t do that.”
Mark J. RebilasMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Belichick is the one guy who hasn't endorsed Brady's plan to play as long as possible
“You hear Tom Brady say he wants to play six or seven more years.You hear the owner, and [Tom] relayed that message to Mr. Kraft.
The one guy you haven’t heard say anything about that? It’s coach Belichick, and this is what we know about him. The reason why they’ve been so successful, even when they’re behind 28-3: He prepares them for everything.
If he prepares his team for everything, do you not think coach Belichick is prepared for everything? Here’s a man who’s been in the NFL for over 40 years. And he’s seen what happens when you do not have the proper transition team in place. Ask Buffalo when Jim Kelly retired… what happened? Ask the Miami Dolphins when Dan Marino retired. The Broncos went through that, the Steelers went through that from Terry Bradshaw until they got Big Ben.
Coach Belichick? That’s unacceptable to him.”
Geoff BurkeGeoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Coach Belichick is strong enough to make the tough decision for Brady
“And I know… ‘well how do you do that to Tom Brady?’
Have you ever been skydiving, Skip? Let me tell you how they did it. They take you up about 12, 14,000 feet. All of a sudden you hear the plane slow. The door starts to open. Now the guy walks you to the edge, I’m like ‘I don’t know if I want to do this.’
He says ‘you’ve got two choices. You can jump, or I’m going to push your you-know-what.’
Coach Belichick, I believe, will come to Tom Brady. ‘You’ve got two choices.’
… Tom Brady will land on his feet, but Coach Belichick is going make the hard decision for Tom Brady if he doesn’t make it for himself.”
Winslow TownsonWinslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Once Belichick feels it's time to move on, Tom Brady will retire
Skip Bayless: “So, bottom line, you could see maybe one more year and at the longest two more years, right? And he’s going to be cut by Bill Belichick.”
Shannon Sharpe: “I believe [Bill] will make the tough decision for him. He could say ‘cut, or go on your own.’ And knowing Tom Brady, he will retire.”
Bob DonnanBob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are on a collision course
“Retire? There is no way [Tom Brady] will retire if he gets pushed out the back door by Bill Belichick.
I’m with you on Tom Brady’s in his last season. I think he’s in his last season in New England. Just a gut feeling.
It’s still possible that Belichick could trade Jimmy Garoppolo. He could trade him this summer if some franchise quarterback goes down elsewhere and somebody gets desperate enough to give up two No. 1s, or whatever. He could trade him all the way up to the trade deadline, which is usually November 1st of next football season.
That’s going to be D-Day. After that D-Day, it’s going to be a collision course between the greatest quarterback ever and the guy many believe is the greatest coach ever.”
Bob DonnanBob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Belichick could be hoping Brady slows down in 2017
“In the end, I’m with you, I think that Bill Belichick - in his heart of hearts - would like to cut bait with Tom Brady. And I’ve told you this before, and now I’m going to say it stronger than ever. This is going to become the biggest and best story in pro football, very shortly.
This is just my from-a-distance gut feeling. A big part of Bill Belichick wants to see Brady act his age next year - which will be age 40 on August 3rd.
You think he’s going to start acting his age next year. Let’s say he gets beat up. If that doesn’t happen, whatever, his skills decline. I think part of Bill Belichick would be very happy because a big part of Belichick would love to go forward, in the last phase of his coaching career, and prove to the NFL world it wasn’t all about Tom Brady.”
Greg M. CooperGreg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
If Belichick wants to escape the shadow of Tom Brady, he has to win with someone else
“I give Brady 75 percent of the credit, the lion’s share of the credit. Some people say it’s 50-50. But even if it’s 50-50, I think 50-50 sticks in Bill Belichick’s craw.
…. Let’s look at his record. He had one winning season in his five as head coach in Cleveland. Then he went to New England and went 5-11 the next year. Then he starts off his second year 0-2, and in the second loss, he is forced to go (because of the injury to Drew Bledsoe) to this sixth-round pick from Michigan named Tom Brady. And the rest is Super Bowl history.
Over a 16-year period, they go to seven Super Bowls and win five of them. Again, I give Brady a lot more credit for being the driving force of the franchise and for sustaining the dynasty that Belichick, obviously, would like the credit for.
So now he’s just turned 65 years of age. He has seven Super Bowl rings, so what’s left to really prove? How can you add much on to that legacy?”
Matthew EmmonsMatthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Winning a Super Bowl with Jimmy Garoppolo could be Belichick's greatest achievement
Shannon Sharpe: “If he goes and wins a Super Bowl without Tom Brady… you’re talking about Mount Rushmore NFL head coaches, his face is No. 1.”
Skip Bayless: “This whole concept of ‘you rode Tom Brady’s coattails’ would be demolished if he could win one with Jimmy G.”