Once the San Francisco 49ers pulled off the blockbuster deal for the third pick in next month’s draft on Friday, Jimmy Garoppolo trade rumors came to the forefront.
49ers general manager John Lynch did not move three first-round picks and a third-rounder in order to select any other position outside of quarterback. Lynch himself confirmed that once the trade became official. The front office head also broke some news by indicating that he would listen to offers for Garoppolo.
Of course, the New England Patriots have been bandied about a whole heck of a lot as it relates to their former quarterback. Recent indications were that Bill Belichick and Co. still had an eye on Garoppolo even after the team re-signed Cam Newton. That might no longer be the case.
Report suggests Patriots are not interested in a Jimmy Garoppolo trade
“Patriots are not pursuing 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo, per sources. Cap space isn’t there and obviously Cam Newton will return. Additionally, the draft is flush with QBs. No Jimmy GQ reunion for the Pats in foreseeable future,” ESPN’s Jordan Schultz reported on Sunday.
There’s a lot of layers to this. Immediately after San Francisco’s blockbuster trade with the Dolphins for the third pick in next month’s NFL Draft became public record, the organization seemed to leak to the media that Garoppolo would not be traded. The idea would be for an unnamed rookie quarterback to learn behind the veteran for a season.
That was likely nothing more than posturing on the part of the 49ers’ front office. The same thing could be said about New England here. There’s a reason why this team has been linked to a Jimmy Garoppolo trade for some time now. Belichick didn’t want to move him to San Francisco midway through the 2017 season in the first place. The legendary head coach viewed Garoppolo as the heir-apparent to Tom Brady. Even those close to the Pats believe they are still set to make a play for the embattled quarterback.
As for the NFL salary cap, things can change on a dime here. Garoppolo is set to count $26.4 million against the cap in 2021. No team is going to pay that for an injury-plagued starter. Any hypothetical trade to New England would come with Garoppolo lowering his cap figure. As for the Patriots, they are $14.27 million under the cap after making a flurry of moves during NFL free agency.
Will a Jimmy Garoppolo trade happen?
Again, this seems to be a game of cat and mouse between the two organizations. San Francisco thinks that it could potentially land a second-round pick and change for the quarterback. Behind the scenes, it’s clear that the Pats are probably looking at a mid-round pick and a player (perhaps, the expensive Stephon Gilmore).
From San Francisco’s perspective, it’s not yet known how Garoppolo has taken to the news of Friday’s blockbuster trade. Lynch said he spoke with the quarterback after it became official. He did not expand on what the conversation looked like. The 49ers’ interest in the likes of Andy Dalton and Mitchell Trubisky in free agency also seemed to suggest that they were looking for a bridge quarterback to replace Garoppolo on the depth chart in front of an unnamed player they will take third overall next month.
The interesting dynamic here is that New England’s hopes of landing one of the top-five quarterbacks with the 15th selection in the draft took a hit with the 49ers’ eye-opening trade up. It’s now highly unlikely Justin Fields, Trey Lance or Mac Jones will be available to New England barring a trade up of their own.
Public posturing between the 49ers and Patriots aside, something could end up happening on this front during the 2021 NFL Draft itself. It’s something to keep an eye on moving forward.