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Brady Suspended: What does that mean for the Patriots?

With Tom Brady’s ban reinstated, it looks more probable than not that the legendary Patriots quarterback will miss the first 4 games of th


With Tom Brady’s ban reinstated, it looks more probable than not that the legendary Patriots quarterback will miss the first 4 games of the 2016 season, New England will be looking over the course of the offseason for a solution to help them win against Arizona, Miami, Houston and Buffalo. Third year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is likely to be the starter, and has the supporting cast to get the team through, even without their star man – Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, as well as a hopefully recovered Dion Lewis and LeGarrette Blount in the backfield should be enough talent to see the team through. That’s not, of course, to take away from the talents of Garoppolo himself. The Patriots rated him highly enough to take him in the second round in 2014, and with good reason – he struck many analysts as a good prospect coming out of Eastern Illinois, and in limited playing time has impressed fans and media alike. He can make the throws he needs to, makes good decisions and generally looks better than any backup Brady has had at any point in his career. He was drafted to be groomed as a replacement for when avocado ice cream no longer keeps Brady on the field, as opposed to someone to hold a clipboard without a chance of taking the starting job. Bill Belichick’s leadership is key, and no coach in the league is a better game planner. Giving him four months to plan for four games without Brady is like presenting a chess master with a newspaper puzzle. It’s something he can solve. Sure, a lot of last year’s success was based on Brady being able to get the ball out as fast as any quarterback in the league which negated the questionable offensive line, but this year we could see a power run game tearing up opponents for the first four weeks followed by angry Brady coming back out for revenge. The question really is at backup quarterback – Do the Patriots draft someone and carry three, something they’ve hardly ever done since Brady came along? Do they pick up a veteran backup for four weeks? The first case is unlikely. Knowing that it’s a finite period that they will need someone, it’s more than likely that they pick up a free agent QB like Ryan Lindley or Brian Hoyer, both of whom have spent time in Foxboro, and will be unlikely to play. There is also always a chance that none of this is necessary – Brady’s legal team are mulling options, and the player friendly 8th Circuit Court in Minnesota will be ruling on Adrian Peterson’s suspension. If the court finds in favour of Peterson, then the Supreme Court could well be asked to resolve the conflict between the 8th and 2nd Circuit Courts. That is, of course, purely hypothetical and relies on a lot of legal wrangling, and so one has to assume that the team that is always prepared is prepared to do their job without their figurehead for four games.

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Pete Hallifax

I'm a fan of all sports, but cover NFL here. Nobody was more shocked than I was that the Patriots won Super Bowl 51.

Brady Suspended: What does that mean for the Patriots?

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