We have a looong way to go this offseason, and we’re trying to pace ourselves. However, it’s never a bad time to discuss this [KITTENING] quarterback situation, is it?
This week’s question for the group: What is the most you’d be willing for the Texans to give up for one Jimmy Garoppolo? The Patriots’ backup flashed in a very limited sample size in 2016, knows something at least comparable to the Texans’ system, and perhaps most importantly, would be super-cheap for a one season trial period.
Here’s how the staff sees it...
If Bill O'Brien thinks Jimmy Garoppolo can be a better than average NFL starting quarterback, I would have zero problem with the Texans surrendering a first round pick for him. If I was parting with my first rounder, I'd want to hold on to my second and third rounders, but I'd also have no problem sending another pick in the fourth round or later as well.
The Houston Texans are a legitimate Super Bowl contender with decent quarterback play. If I'm running the Texans, I wouldn't get cute about trying to hoard assets if I truly believed Garoppolo could provide the kind of play under center that could get this team closer to a title. Now, if you believe Garoppolo is a fool's gold, then don't waste your time. But if you believe he's for real? Go get him, enjoy the final cheap year of his rookie contract, and hope he plays well enough that you have to pay him market rate in the seasons to come.
Don't let Brock Osweiler's failure keep you from moving forward.
No talent-influx would benefit this team more than at the quarterback position, so I’d be willing to send this year’s first round pick and a mid-late round pick this year or next year to get Garoppolo. J.J. Watt, DeAndre Hopkins, Duane Brown, etc. are not getting any younger - and if the Texans were to trade up higher in the first to get a QB they think can do better for them than Jimmy G, it is likely to cost more than it is simply to get Garoppolo himself. The “one year trial” period coming cheaply is also a huge, huge factor for me. This prevents the team from immediately re-Osweilering itself into oblivion, and there’s at least something (I hope) to be said for him knowing the system and looking good in a limited sample. That’s at least better than we can say for Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, and Brock Osweiler, who never looked like anything more than average in their sample sizes, despite (granted, Jimmy’s sample size is obviously way smaller).
So yes, not only would I target Garoppolo, but he, I think, is my preferred option. I’m not sold on Deshaun Watson, though I am intrigued by DeShone Kizer...but I don’t think either will be there when Houston picks.
I thought Jimmy was worth taking a chance on in the 2014 NFL Draft with the 33rd overall pick. Given the importance of the QB role, it made more sense to gamble on a QB than an OG, and Xavier Su’a-Filo has certainly not lived up to that major investment. I'd be willing to trade the 25th overall pick this year to the Patriots for a low-cost (final year of his rookie deal) season to see if he's the franchise guy the team needs. I'd prefer to use two 2nd-round picks if possible though.
1. This gives the Texans the 2017 season to burn off the remainder of the dead money from the Brock deal.
2. If Jimmy proves that he's worthy of being the starter, Houston can offer him a long-term contract worthy of a franchise QB since the majority of Brock’s dead money is gone.
3. If Garoppolo proves to be just a good backup, Houston can negotiate a contract worthy of a backup QB going forward, or allow him to walk in free agency.
4. If Jimmy is just not good, he leaves in free agency and perhaps the Texans get a future compensation pick. They then enter the search for another QB without any cap issues.
The risk here is that I don't trust Bill Belichick. If he's willing to part with a player, that should be a red flag. I also don't trust Rick Smith, Bill O'Brien or anyone else in that organization when it comes to evaluating quarterbacks. Maybe it would make more sense to get Jim Irsay drunk and somehow convince him to trade Andrew Luck.
Can we please stop talking about acquiring ex-Patriots QBs? I'm already dead inside.
Unlike Brock Osweiler, there's some film to like on Garoppolo. JG's release is quick, and he shows decent to even above-average arm strength down the field. He's willing to push the ball down the field, as well, which is incredibly important.
Heading into 2016, I would've given Osweiler a 3 out of 10 score. JG? 6 out of 10. I think there's a lot to like from his tape, he has knowledge of the E-P system (though of the not sucky kind), and he does have a track record of success. Like Ron, though, I'm super paranoid about Belichick willing to trade him.
I'd send over a pair of second rounders to NE to grab him.
A third-round pick. I think his success this year was the product of an ideal situation and not representative of how he'd do in Houston behind a much rougher offensive line.
I'd give up a third-round pick for Jimmy G. Nothing more. And I might even begrudge that...
A fourth or fifth round pick.
The problem with acquiring Jimmy G is that the optics of acquiring him demand that he has to start or there will be uproar. Similar to the Brock situation, the Texans could be stuck with a less than optimal situation if Jimmy G isn't good, which we honestly don't know, much in the same way that we don't know if the few games he played in the Pats’ offense is a solid indicator of talent.
I could be convinced to part with a third-rounder for Jimmy G, but anything more than that is nothing more than QB thirst run wild. Whomever makes that deal deserves a swift firing.
Titan Matt Weston, Slanderer of Blade Runner and a Huge Texas Rangers Fan:
I'd give up a second for sure and maybe a first for Jimmy G, and this is coming from someone who didn't like him all that much coming out of college and is wary of small sample sizes. The context here makes this a nice option.
Aside from quarterback and tackle, there isn't any extreme need on the Texans. Garoppolo can fill the quarterback hole and would still be on his rookie deal to help mitigate the effect of the Osweiler contract. Houston needs better quarterback play or they are going to be a sub .500 team next year. Even if Garoppolo doesn't become a franchise quarterback, he's still probably better than anyone else on the roster. He’s one of the best options to improve at quarterback because this is supposed to be a weak quarterback class, and it's hard to add a Tony Romo type veteran because of the cap.
I initially said I wouldn't want to pursue Garoppolo. If that pursuit costs us a first round pick, I'm still not into it. But if we're talking a later round pick (maybe even a second; I'm still not sold there) I'd be up for it.
Weston made a good point that has kind of softened my stance on this issue. The framework of a good offense is there. But I think there's three things holding it back: QB, tackle, and offensive coordinator. Garoppolo played well with a good offensive structure around him. The question is how good can BOB be as both head coach and offensive coordinator.
I'd be good with a one-year test drive of Garoppolo for a mid-round pick or package thereof. But I'd still want to invest a high round pick in a potential QB of the future. That way, if Garoppolo doesn't work out, at least we have SOMETHING as a backup plan.
Personally, I have changed my stance on this over the last year or so. The fact that Jimmy Garoppolo is cheap next year, combined with the popular thought that Bill O’Brien was hot for him in the draft a couple of years ago anyway as a good fit - I’d make the deal, but it only takes one dumb team to offer waaay more than they should to take us (justifiably) out of the running.
Please give us your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below.