New England Patriots final depth chart prediction, pre-training camp

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1. Tom Brady

2. Jimmy Garoppolo

Cut: Matt Flynn

If Brady doesn’t suit-up in Week 1, it will be the first time he won’t start in the Patriots’ opening game since 2001. You can bet that part of what Brady is “ticked” about this summer is that streak coming to an end should the league fail to come to their senses in Deflategate.

Flynn’s future in New England is entirely contingent on the outcome of Brady’s appeal. Should Brady miss any games at the start of the season, Flynn will be a virtual roster lock. On the flip side, if Brady’s suspension is wiped out entirely, then Flynn will probably find himself on the cutting block.

Garoppolo is the quarterback of the future, and the Patriots will want to give him as much experience as possible in this controlled environment (I view two, three or four starts as opposed to an entire season as a controlled environment for Jimmy G to develop in). What a chance it will be for Garoppolo if Brady remains suspended for any period of time.

It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which Flynn beats-out Garoppolo. Remember that the Patriots used a second-round pick last year to snag Garoppolo; they aren’t going to let that high selection go to waste. At this point in his career, Flynn isn’t much more than a fill-in quarterback.

Next: Running backs