The New England Patriots could very well be on the verge of reacquiring quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from the San Francisco 49ers.
According to Boston sports radio icon and Patriots insider Dale Arnold, the Patriots are currently working on a restructured contract for Garoppolo in preparation for a potential blockbuster trade during the 2021 NFL Draft. Arnold was among the first to break the news that Tom Brady had left the New England Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last offseason.
It’s no surprise that the 49ers and Patriots are talking trade. New England has seemingly been in on Garoppolo since before San Francisco made the blockbuster trade up from the 12th pick to No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. General manager John Lynch and Co. are slated to take an heir-apparent Thursday evening in Cleveland. The 49ers are said to be choosing between Trey Lance, Mac Jones and Justin Fields.
Just recently, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan added more fodder to Garoppolo trade rumors — suggesting that there’s no guarantee he’ll be on the roster once the three-day NFL Draft concludes this weekend.
Jimmy Garoppolo trade and contract restructure
Much like what we saw earlier on Wednesday when the Denver Broncos traded for Teddy Bridgewater, Garoppolo would have to rework his deal in order for this trade to come to fruition.
The injury-plagued 29-year-old quarterback is slated to count $26.38 million against the cap in 2021. New England would be on the hook for nearly $25 million of that. It is currently a mere $20.59 million under the cap after a surprisingly aggressive NFL free agency period. In agreeing to a restructure, Garoppolo would also likely demand that he’s able to hit the open market next March. That’s what happened with Bridgewater.
In terms of a potential Jimmy Garoppolo trade, he’d act as a marked upgrade over current starter Cam Newton. This is magnified by the fact that Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels runs a system to Garoppolo’s liking and the team just signed one of his former favorite receivers with San Francisco, Kendrick Bourne.
Compensation would probably be the biggest hiccup here. I floated the idea that New England sends its second-round pick and expensive cornerback Stephon Gilmore to the 49ers for Garoppolo. That received some push back.
It’s an interesting market dynamic. The Broncos’ decision to trade for Teddy Bridgewater creates less competition for Jimmy Garoppolo’s services. On the other hand, Sam Darnold netted the New York Jets three draft picks, including a second-rounder in 2022. Anyone of an objective mind will conclude that Garoppolo is better than his younger counterpart.
Either way, this is one of the biggest storylines to follow as the 2021 NFL Draft gets going in less than 24 hours. If Garoppolo were to land back with his original Patriots team and have success, the Super Bowl quarterback could then prove the naysayers wrong. In the process, Bill Belichick would prove that his previous success in New England was not a direct result of Tom Brady.
It’s popcorn time around the NFL. Get your butter ready and sit back.