The New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo have been linked ever since he arrived in the league in 2014. New England drafted him in the second round that year and groomed Garoppolo behind Tom Brady before eventually trading him to the Bay Area in 2017.
With the 49ers now all but guaranteed to draft a quarterback this year — they invested three total first-round picks to trade up from No. 12 to No. 3 — Garoppolo might be on the move. “Might” is the key word here, however, given that San Francisco’s reported asking price is quite high: as first reported by Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, the team wants a first-round draft choice for the 29-year-old.
Garoppolo has played some solid football ever since arriving in San Francisco, and led the club to a Super Bowl just two years ago. That said, the team’s aggressiveness on the trade market to replace him speaks for itself: he is not the 49ers’ future, despite the club apparently wanting to keep him around until a first-round rookie is ready.
“We’re in a situation where when you bring in a rookie quarterback, to me, it’s always better, especially on the team that you have, if you’ve got a veteran starter there already who you like and you’re comfortable winning with,” said head coach Kyle Shanahan about the team’s current situation. “That’s usually the direction you want to go and not throw someone else out into the fire until they’re fully ready. That’s the situation we’re at.”
Given Garoppolo’s contract — he would cost his new team $23.6 million in 2021 — and injury history, it seems unlikely the Patriots or any other team would invest a first-round pick to bring him in. The contract details can be worked through, as the Trent Brown trade has shown, but the first-round price is still steep for a player who does not have a long-term future with his current club anyway.