Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo does not have many fans among his former New England Patriots teammates.
Back in October, tight end Martellus Bennett called out Garoppolo for “being a b—-” and missing a key game during the 2016 season. This week on the I Am Athlete podcast, wide receiver Julian Edelman backed up those comments.
Bennett referenced the beginning of that campaign, when the NFL suspended Tom Brady for four games following the “Deflategate” scandal. Garoppolo got the starts in Week 1 and Week 2 and led the Patriots to a 2-0 record. He injured his shoulder in the second game, however, and Jacoby Brissett started Week 3 in a 27-0 win over the Houston Texans.
Going into Week 4, Jimmy Garoppolo practiced all week in preparation to return to the field. But at the last minute, he decided that he was unable to go, which put Brissett and New England in a difficult situation.
“He decided not to play right before the game,” Bennett said. “Jacoby (Brissett) came out and played with a f—ed up thumb and played his heart out, but Jimmy was just being a b—- about it all.”
He continued: “He didn’t want to come out and do anything because his agent was trying to protect his body or some s— like that. Which, I can’t fault him for that. But like, you should have made that decision on Thursday. Now it’s Sunday.”
Edelman Chimes in on Jimmy Garoppolo
That was Bennett’s take on the situation from October. Fast-forward to Edelman this week, where the wideout was asked to weigh in.
“We’re all football players here,” he explained. “A lot of guys got mad at it. I’m not going to lie, I got mad about it. I sacrificed my body all day long. Taking shots for this, numbing up that, ribs, broken ribs, shoulders, Grade 3, hanging on by limbs just to play. I can understand why Marty (Bennett) thinks like that.”
All of this being said, Brady returned for Week 5 and started the final 12 games of the season. He threw 28 touchdowns compared to only two interceptions and led New England to an 11-1 record the rest of the way. The Patriots made it to the Super Bowl, where they “overcame” a 28-3 deficit to the Atlanta Falcons to win 34-28 in overtime.
So, did Jimmy Garoppolo not playing in a Week 3 game ultimately matter? Not really. But athletes throwing shade at each other five years down the road always makes for good banter.