The New England Patriots will have to make a decision on the future of backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. In his latest article on MMQB, NFL insider Albert Breer provided valuable insights on Patriots’ plan for Tom Brady’s understudy QB and how another franchise tag makes the situation ‘awkward.’

The G.O.A.T and the future

The Patriots selected Garoppolo in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft for the sole purpose of taking over the game’s most important position once Brady hangs his cleats.

Unfortunately for him, Brady’s late 30s resurgence is keeping him off the field. As long as New England continues to thrive with the 40-year old Brady in the pocket, Garoppolo’s time will never come in Foxborough.

Breer reported that the Patriots still view Garoppolo as the heir apparent to Brady despite his shaky performance in the preseason. A franchise tag could make Garoppolo the richest backup QB in the NFL next season ($7 million richer than Brady) and make the situation a little bit odd, but there’s no mistaking the Pats have all the intentions of keeping the future of the team.

Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t playing, and was up and down in the preseason. Ideally, the Patriots would like him to eventually succeed Tom Brady.

But so long as Brady wants to keep playing, this situation figures to get a little fiscally (a franchise tag would be worth about $7 million more than Brady is scheduled to make) and socially (see: Garoppolo’s desire to play) awkward in 2018,” Breer writes

New York Daily writer Manish Mehta also believed the Pats backup QB isn’t going anywhere next summer because Belichick is very much aware of what he has in Garoppolo.

“Barring a fair contract extension before season’s end, the Patriots will almost certainly apply the franchise tag on Garoppolo this offseason for around $24 million. Although it’s unconventional to devote more than $45 million in cap space to two QBs, Belichick fully grasps the power of great quarterback play. A real quarterback can mask deficiencies in other areas of your team.

That’s priceless,” Mehta stressed.

More QB info from MMQB

The Cincinnati Bengals are hesitant to deal backup quarterback AJ McCarron. According to Breer, the Bengals apparently like the former Crimson Tide signal-caller that they intend to sign him to a team-friendly contract. Tyrod Taylor is another quarterback who has been playing solid (910 yards with six TDs) for the Buffalo Bills (3-2). Breer said the Bills’ surprising play as of late is making Taylor’s paycheck for next season ($16 million) look like a bargain.