Julian Edelman: Jimmy Garoppolo 'a stud,' has 'gunslinger-like confidence'

ByMike Reiss ESPN logo
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

In an offseason when a potential trade of New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is a notable storyline, veteran receiver Julian Edelman paid him a high compliment by comparing his approach to that of two Green Bay Packers greats.

"The guy is a stud. He went out and played in the regular season and played very well. He has that kind of gunslinger-like confidence, that Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers kind of confidence," Edelman said Tuesday night on NFL Network.

Garoppolo, whom the Patriots selected in the second round of the 2014 draft out of Eastern Illinois, is entering the final year of his contract.

With starter Tom Brady signed through 2019 and showing few signs of slowing down as he approaches his 40th birthday on Aug. 3, some have speculated that the Patriots -- who also selected quarterback Jacoby Brissett in the third round of the 2016 draft -- could consider trading Garoppolo this offseason.

The 25-year-old Garoppolo had an early-season audition of sorts, starting the Patriots' first two games of 2016 as Brady served a four-game suspension as part of the NFL's Deflategate penalties.

In a season-opening 23-21 road victory over the Arizona Cardinals on "Sunday Night Football," Garoppolo was 24-of-33 for 264 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. He followed that up with a fast start the next week in a 31-24 victory over the Miami Dolphins, going 18-of-26 for 232 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions before injuring his right shoulder late in the second quarter.

Garoppolo missed the next two games, with Brissett starting until Brady returned. Garoppolo attempted only four passes the rest of the season, all coming late in the fourth quarter when the outcome was decided.

"It was a good opportunity, and I went out and tried to take advantage of it and do everything I could," Garoppolo said in the days leading up to Super Bowl LI. "And it worked out pretty well. The injury obviously wasn't the best thing, but I think it was overall a good experience."

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