May 9, 2014: The Patriots have drafted their fair share of quarterbacks during the Brady Era—Matt Cassel, Ryan Mallett, Kliff Kingsbury!—but New England's selection of Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round of the 2014 draft was different. It felt like the Patriots had truly, unequivocally planted the seeds for a post-Brady world.
Brady, 37 years old at the time, had showed no real signs of slowing down—he had just led the Patriots to another AFC Championship berth. But at some point age will catch up to the medical marvel. Will it be after the 2017 season when Brady is 41 and the Eastern Illinois product becomes a free agent? Maybe, maybe not, but Garoppolo is the only backup seemingly set up to take the reins.