New England Patriots: 3 thoughts on the Jacoby Brissett trade

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: Jacoby Brissett
FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: Jacoby Brissett /

The New England Patriots trade of third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett answers some questions about the team’s future.

Bill Belichick strikes again.  On Saturday, the New England Patriots coach traded third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for wide receiver/kick returner Phillip Dorsett.

While not earth shattering, the trade was still a shock amongst Patriots fans since it appeared the second-year quarterback won a spot on the 53-man roster.

It was also a bit of a surprise where he was traded.

With Andrew Luck shoed in as the franchises quarterback, the Colts would’ve been the one of the last teams to inquire about Brissett.  Given the history of the two teams, Belichick and the Patriots would’ve seemed a highly unlikely trade partner.

Nonetheless, the two teams filled needs with the deal.

The Colts receive a backup quarterback with a tiny bit of NFL success.  The Patriots receiver a player in Dorsett who adds depth to the wide receiver position and could also possibly fill the team’s need for a kickoff/punt returner.

As the trade itself came out of nowhere, the underlying storyline is that it appears to solidify Jimmy Garoppolo as Tom Brady’s successor, which leads to the following three thoughts.

Bill Belichick wasn’t sold on Brissett

There are not many teams that carry three quarterbacks into the season.  For that reason, it was rumored that Jacoby Brissett was on the bubble to make the team.

With 40-year-old Tom Brady still playing at a high level and Jimmy Garoppolo itching to get his turn as a starter, Brissett was expendable.  When asked about the trade Sunday morning, Belichick much shrugged of the trade as something the team needed to do to acquire a player like Dorsett.

This all comes after Brissett had the preseason game of all preseason games.  The product out of N.C. State threw for over 300 yards and accounted for five total touchdowns in the team’s 40-38 loss to the New York Giants in the preseason finale.

Not only did he look like an NFL quarterback, the performance drew reminders of Cam Newton.

Of course, given the competition the comparison was a bit over-the-top, but Brissett showed enough poise in the pocket and field awareness to draw interest from a team like the Colts.

The fact that Belichick was willing to trade him put to rest any idea that Brissett, not Garoppolo, was who the team was grooming as Brady’s eventual successor. 

The Patriots got value in return

Considering Jacoby Brissett was the third-string quarterback who may or may not have made the team, the New England Patriots are getting some pretty good value in return.

In Phillip Dorsett, the team is getting a former first-round pick who brings speed and depth to an already talented receiving group.

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In two years with the Colts, Dorsett has hauled in 51 passes for 753 yards and three touchdowns.  My initial thoughts were that he would help fill the slot receiver spot left void due to the season-ending injury to Julian Edelman.  However, it appears he may just give Tom Brady another deep ball weapon.

His addition may allow the team to utilize Brandin Cooks as more of a slot option.

In any event, the fact that the Patriots were able to get a talent like Dorsett for Brissett is a testament to the team and how they develop the value of players.

 It’s all about Jimmy Garoppolo

The Brissett deal appears to indicate that the Patriots either have a deal in place for Jimmy Garoppolo or are confident they can get something done to extend him.

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With the backup quarterback entering the final year of his rookie contract, the Patriots will be hit with the conundrum of paying both Brady and Garoppolo top quarterback money.

To retain Garoppolo, the Patriots would have to franchise him for an estimated $24 million next year.  That would be quite the chunk of change for a player to backup one of the greats.

Now, Bill Belichick would franchise Garoppolo and still trade him.  That, however, wouldn’t be the best move for the team given the fact that the team reportedly turned down offers this offseason that would’ve brought back maximum value.

It would also put the team in position to develop another quarterback, which wouldn’t be ideal given Brady’s age.  That possibility would’ve still been in play if the team kept Brissett.

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In summary, Jimmy Garoppolo appears primed to take over the quarterback reigns of the New England Patriots somehow, someway.  Then again, with Belichick as the mastermind behind the operation, who knows what we are all in store for the next year or two.