Report: Patriots could trade Jimmy Garoppolo in Alex Smith-like deal

By Michael Dixon

Jimmy Garoppolo figures to be on the trade market this offseason, but what will the New England Patriots want for him?

In a radio interview on Friday, ESPN’s John Clayton suggested that while the Pats may want a first rounder, a deal could be “very similar to the Alex Smith trade of a couple years ago.”

“Where naturally, if you’re the Patriots, you’re going to hold out for a No. 1, but you are not going to hold out totally,” Clayton added on KNBR 1050, per Kevin Jones. “So knowing there’s maybe not a top-five quarterback in this draft, that’s why I think the second-round options might be a little more viable. Because then maybe you can give a (second-round pick), (a third-round pick) in 2018 and I think the Patriots will take that because they are trying to restock the roster as far as getting young guys for the next Super Bowl run.”

Following the 2012 season, the San Francisco 49ers dealt Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs for a second in the 2013 draft and a conditional 2014 pick. With those picks (and subsequent trades), Trent Baalke netted Carlos Hyde and Chris Borland. Those were two rare non-first round picks to pan out for the now fired general manager.

Of course, the 2013 second rounder that the 49ers acquired was the second pick of the round, which are often desired picks for good teams. High second-round picks are frequently similarly graded to low firsts, but are on a much more conservative pay scale. First-round talent with second-round pay is something that New England should find very interesting.

Interestingly enough, the second pick of the second round is the exact position that Smith’s old team finds itself in now. As it happens, four years after dealing Smith, San Francisco is also quarterback hunting. If Clayton is right, the 49ers could end up trading for Kaepernick’s replacement in a similar deal to the one they got for the man that Kaepernick replaced.

It’s certainly one of the options that will likely be available to the Patriots this offseason.