FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- On May 9, 2014, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick was explaining the team's mindset in selecting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round of the NFL draft. It was a pick that dominated media-based discussion in New England, in part because it was the earliest the club had selected a quarterback in Belichick's 16-year tenure (62nd overall).
Then Belichick added this about Tom Brady: "We know what Tom's age and contract situation is. I don't think you want to have one quarterback on your team. I don't think that's responsible to the entire team or the organization."
At the time, Brady was 36 and his contract was set to expire at the end of the 2017 season.
Belichick elaborated a bit more at the time, saying, "With the situation we have at quarterback, I think we felt as an organization that we needed to address that to some degree in the future, so we'll see how all that works out. But I think you're better off being early than late at that position."
Fast-forward to Monday, with news that Brady and the Patriots have reached an agreement on a two-year contract extension.
Brady is now 38 and the pact, when made official, will expire at the end of the 2019 season.
So what now with Garoppolo?
My thought has been nothing changes unless another team shows a willingness to part with a future first-round draft pick, which seems unlikely based on Garoppolo's NFL body of work at this point. Yes, there's some promise there, but it's still unknown what he will ultimately become -- a franchise signal-caller, a solid starter or something else.
Then there's the fragile nature of where Brady is at this point of his career. He's shown few, if any, signs of slowing down, but at the same time, past words from Belichick about how things can fall off quickly for older players (not specifically in reference to Brady) still resonate.
With this in mind, perhaps a perfect scenario would be for the Patriots to draft another quarterback in the middle rounds this year (e.g. Stanford's Kevin Hogan), and consider carrying three on the roster in 2016. That would position them well if Garoppolo has an excellent preseason and potentially becomes a valuable trade asset in 2017.
Even if that's not the way it unfolds, a third straight year of having a Brady-Garoppolo depth chart in 2016 would mean the Patriots are still in good shape when it comes to being "early" and not "late" at the game's most important position.