All it took was one game to get the Jimmy Garoppolo hype machine ignited.
San Francisco general manager John Lynch even said in a radio interview on KNBR that was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle that if he had Garoppolo as his quarterback in Tampa Bay, Lynch would have five Super Bowl rings instead of one.
The Chronicle reported that Lynch then laughed, and it was obvious hyperbole, but Lynch probably would have won more than one Super Bowl in Tampa Bay with a good quarterback.
In the 1999 NFC title game against St. Louis, the Tampa Bay defense held the Greatest Show on Turf to 11 points but lost 11-6 because they didn’t have a good quarterback or offense.
Still, even Lynch said that the game winning drive Garoppolo led against Chicago was just one game and they have to “pump the breaks’’ on the hype for the young QB.
Only time will tell if Garoppolo turns out to be an average, good or great quarterback.
Another question we don’t know the answer to is how good a quarterback Bill Belichick thinks Garoppolo will become and whether he made a mistake trading him.
The convention wisdom is Belichick traded Garoppolo because they couldn’t afford the more than $20 million or so to franchise him next year. And owner Robert Kraft wouldn’t let Belichick move on from Tom Brady now even if he wanted to.
But if Belichick thinks Garoppolo will be Steve Young to Brady’s Joe Montana, couldn’t he have reworked enough contracts to keep Garoppolo at least another year?
Brady says he’ll play another five years, but there’s no guarantee that Brady will still be Brady for more than another year.
Belichick now has no backup plan with Brian Hoyer as his No. 2. He’s got to find a QB of the future.
Of course, Belichick isn’t going to tell us how good he really thinks Garoppolo is.
If Brady really plays another five years, Belichick made the right move and he’ll have time to find another QB.
If Brady loses it in a year or so or gets injured and Garoppolo turns out to be great, Belichick’s trading of Garoppolo won’t look like a great move.
And so we can only wait to find out how good Garoppolo is and how long Brady will play.