Brady hit the big 4-0 this month. With 16 NFL seasons under his belt, he has seen his fair share of backups and at one point, being the 4th string QB himself.

The GOAT(or scarecrow who happens to throw the ball, imo, do not steal.) climbed to the 2nd string and eventually usurped New England Patriots great Drew Bledsoe. Only in four seasons has Tom Brady not started. Brady’s backup spot is a comfy couch in Beantown. Fourteen men have done Tom and Giselle’s laundry, I mean, stood ready to replace Tom Terrific, should he forget to walk the dog.

Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy G, tapped by Bill Belichik himself, stands to be the Patriots QB of the future. The upstart from Eastern Illinois stood in for Brady during his four-game suspension. He fell to a punishing hit that sidelined him to third stringer Jacoby Brissett. Offseason speculations had Jimmy G as trade bait until Belichik turned away all suitors. With Brady aging and maybe hitting a logical end to his career Jimmy Garopolo could lead the Patriots into the future unlike these other guys…

Matt Cassel

Cassel was destined for greatness, backing up Matt Leinart at USC. Patriots front office took a chance in 2005 and signed him. Cassel waited for his day like most backups. As a great coach once said, “Next Up.” Tom Brady went down with a torn ACL in Week 1. Cassel commanded for 15 games to a 11-5 season. But missed playoffs (Yes. Steelers v. Cards) due to tiebreakers in the AFC. Cassel was traded to the Chiefs and eventually replaced by Alex Smith. He then joined the endless list of backups, making appearances in Minnesota, Dallas, and currently with the Tennessee Titans.

Brian Hoyer

In 2009, Hoyer went undrafted, but was signed by New England. Hoyer wowed in preseason and survived the cut of three other Patriots backups. He remained as Brady’s sole backup in 2010. Fending off 2011 draft pick Ryan Mallett. Hoyer maintained his backup position until preseason cuts claimed him in 2012. Hoyer rode the pines at Pittsburgh and Arizona, until finding a starting spot in Cleveland, joining many great on the infamous Tim Couch jersey. Hoyer, nowadays, joins Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers as their starter.