Reimer: Don't worry about Tom Brady's replacement. Patriots should go all-in and get TB12 some big-time help

Alex Reimer
February 20, 2019 - 10:48 am
Categories: 

As we all know, the Patriots own six picks in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft this year. And they should not use any of those selections to select Tom Brady’s heir apparent. Instead, they should use them to get their soon to be 42-year-old quarterback help.

Sorry Ken Laird, but if Coach Reimer were running the Patriots –– now that's a gruesome fantasy –– neither Kyler Murray nor Josh Rosen would come to Foxboro this spring. 

While Brady’s contract is set to expire at the end of next season, there’s little doubt the Patriots will work out an extension with him. At the least, it would lower Brady’s $27 million cap hit, giving New England needed spending flexibility. 

When the Patriots traded Jimmy Garoppolo in October 2017, per Robert Kraft’s reported orders, it’s fair to surmise RKK envisioned TB12 could give him five more years. That figure allows Brady to play deep into his 40s and provides the Patriots plenty of time to find his next replacement. An extension that takes Brady through 2021 fits into the timeline.

To state the obvious, any quarterback the Patriots bring in while Brady is on the roster should expect to sit behind him. If Brady is locked in for three more seasons, that means any QB selected in the NFL Draft could be glued to the bench for three-quarters of his rookie deal. All drafted rookies sign four-year contracts.

Meanwhile, Julian Edelman is the only signed member of the receiving corps right now who’s caught an NFL pass in his career. Rob Gronkowski is still deciding whether he wants to return, potentially leaving Brady without one of his most dynamic weapons and BFFs. Left tackle Trent Brown says he would “love” to return to the Patriots, but also seems to recognize the Patriots are almost certainly not going to give him the payday he probably wants.

“Hey, we're going to cross that bridge when we get there,” he told Adam Schefter on his podcast recently.

Bill Belichick took offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn with the No. 23 overall pick in last year’s draft, but he missed all of last season with an Achilles injury. It would serve the Patriots well to bring in some insurance to protect Brady’s blind side as well.

Following another incredible playoff run from Brady –– he added three more game-leading or winning fourth quarter and overtime drives to his gilded resume –– it looks like he can still perform at a championship level for the next couple of seasons. The Patriots’ quarterback took an average time of 2.42 seconds to throw the ball in the Divisional Round and AFC championship, signaling he still sees the field as well as ever. 

The Patriots got away with skimping on receivers last year, thanks to Edelman’s herculean postseason performance and Gronk’s January resurgence. Next season, however, Gronkowski may not be around –– and Edelman, who’s never played 16 games in a season, is another year older. As Wes Welker demonstrated, all slot receivers have a shelf-life. The position is too punishing.

Sony Michel should only get stronger in his second season, but Brady still needs guys to throw to. Instead of spending first-round capital on Duke QB Daniel Jones, as Mel Kiper Jr. suggests, perhaps it’s time for Belichick to draft his first ever first-round wideout. Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola were never replaced.

Of course, the sexiest option is Odell Beckham Jr., whom the Patriots aggressively pursued last year, according to Chris Simms. Though the Giants signed Beckham to a five-year, $95 million extension just last year, he’s reportedly on the market. The worst strikes against Beckham are his outlandish displays of immaturity, from humping goalposts to attacking kicking nets. It’s hard to imagine those flareups continuing under Belichick and Brady’s watchful eyes.

Forget OBJ serving as Cooks’ replacement. The Patriots may have finally found their next Randy Moss. 

If the Patriots want to make a blockbuster trade early in the NFL Draft, it shouldn’t be to trade up for Murray, but rather trade out for OBJ. 

Salary cap realities could impede this Draft Night Blockbuster. The Giants would take on $16 million in dead cap money next season if they deal Beckham before June 1. His 2019 cap hit, meanwhile, lowers to $4 million next season if they wait, with the remaining $12 million carrying over to 2020.

Still, the Patriots could strike a trade then, and history suggests they might. After Belichick stuck Brady with Reche Caldwell and Doug Gabriel in 2006, he loaded up with Moss and Welker the following year. Acquiring OBJ would be an awesome redux. 

Related:

Comments ()