Jimmy Garoppollo, a late second-round pick with two starts in his four-season NFL career, just got traded for what will be a high second-round pick next year, to be a starting quarterback next season with a starting quarterback salary, either with a contract extension or with a tag.

Once again, being Tom Brady’s backup with the Patriots has proven to be the NFL's surest path to advancement. This, despite a general lack of playing experience (with one notable exception) ... and a general lack of post-Patriots success.

That has been the history of quarterbacks groomed by the Patriots over the years; to step in for Brady in an emergency, to possibly take over when his inevitable decline began and to grow as an asset when Brady just continued to be Brady.

At 40 and in his 18th season, Brady has, in fact, continued to be Brady. Thus, Garoppollo was shipped off to the 49ers this week after being dangled last offseason and in the middle of his rookie contract walk year.

Still, long-term success would buck the trend set over the past decade by the quarterbacks whose stock shot up just by sharing the same atmosphere as the five-time Super Bowl champ.