I’m not sure how much longer these Jimmy Garoppolo stories are going to drip out, but this one is worth sharing since ESPN’s Adam Schefter holds some prestige (especially since he’s had a direct line on the situation from the start).
The New England Patriots traded Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2018 second round pick and Schefter has a few reasons why the Patriots chose San Francisco as an ideal landing spot for their former quarterback.
“I think a lot of this, also, some of this had to do with the fact that Bill Belichick has as much respect as he does for John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan,” Schefter said on KNBR’s Murph & Mac. “When he looked at it, he could have traded Jimmy Garoppolo anywhere. Cleveland was dying for Jimmy Garoppolo.”
“He [Belichick] made the decision to trade him to those two particular individuals with the idea that he would not be in the Patriots’ conference,” Schefter added, “with the idea that they would not turn around and decide to go another direction and trade him to the Jets or Bills or Dolphins or a quarterback-needed AFC East division because of the relationships between the sides.”
So there’s an interesting inference that could be made here. The Patriots wanted Garoppolo to go to the 49ers to make sure he would get out of the AFC, which is fine and expected, but the notion that team could subsequently flip Garoppolo to an AFC East team is curious.
After the Patriots traded Garoppolo hours before the trade deadline, were they really concerned about the counterparty turning around and sending Garoppolo back to the AFC East? Or were they more talking about teams looking for a short-term rental of Garoppolo, where he would be available at the end of the season.
Since the 49ers need a quarterback and Garoppolo was the second choice of 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, after only Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins, that meant San Francisco was a safe spot. They wanted to extend him and to make Garoppolo their quarterback of the future- and the 49ers are positive about keeping Garoppolo around
"I can't promise you guys that he'll play this year," Shanahan said about Garoppolo, which points to a level of certainty around an extension. There’s no way San Francisco would’ve made the trade only to see Garoppolo walk after the season without playing a single snap.
But maybe some other team- and this is just discussing a hypothetical- wanted Garoppolo for the rest of the year to get them over the hump. Maybe a possible contender that lost a quarterback, like the Green Bay Packers, wanted Garoppolo (they did want Brian Hoyer), but then Garoppolo would’ve been available as a free agent after the season when Aaron Rodgers returned. So that’s the type of situation the Patriots might’ve been trying to avoid.
And Schefter implies that there’s a good relationship between the 49ers and the Patriots brass, with Belichick having a lot of respect for 49ers head coach Kyle Shanhanan and general manager John Lynch. Lynch spent 17 days on the Patriots roster during the summer of 2008 and he and Belichick had a strong mutual respect for one another. The Patriots have also spoken highly of Shanahan and his talent on offense leading up to the Super Bowl last season.
So Garoppolo, whom Belichick adores, is in a positive situation for the long term with an intelligent coaching staff. That sounds like a win for most parties involved.