Heading into the 2021 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots are at the center of several rumors, with the biggest of their needs being to address the quarterback position. A number of options remain on the table for the Patriots, but could a trade for 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo be the answer? On the April 28 episode of Draft Insiders, Pro Football Network’s Chief NFL Analyst Trey Wingo and Chief Draft Analyst and NFL Insider Tony Pauline discussed the option for the Patriots with the 15th overall pick.
Update April 29: During PFN’s live Draft Insiders episode, Tony Pauline had even more to add surrounding Garoppolo and a potential trade.
“By Friday night, the New England Patriots are going to have a new quarterback. Whether it’s Trey Lance, Justin Fields, or whether it’s a Davis Mills or Jimmy Garoppolo, they will have a new quarterback. I was told that people believe there is a trade in place and that if the Patriots cannot get their quarterback in the draft, they will trade promptly for Jimmy Garoppolo. If Garoppolo is traded over the next two or three days, what that means is he very likely already visited New England and possibly had his physical.”
Be sure to join PFN Chief NFL Analyst Trey Wingo and Chief Draft Analyst Tony Pauline every week on Draft Insiders as they break down all you need to know heading into the 2021 NFL Draft. Subscribe to our PFN YouTube channel and hit the notifications icon so you can tune in live every Wednesday at 9 PM ET.
NFL Draft Rumors: Could the Patriots be set to make a trade for Jimmy Garoppolo
Many NFL rumors suggest the Patriots are a candidate to trade into the top 10 in Round 1. However, on the show, Pauline discussed how the Patriots have a slew of potential options at the quarterback position.
“I do not think that Trey Lance is going to fall to them, I think may have to trade up to get a quarterback. I think they will do that. If they cannot trade up to get a quarterback, they may trade down and take a guy like Davis Mills. They will end up with a quarterback, whether it is through the draft or it is a trade for Garoppolo, which I think could happen soon after the first round is over if they do not come away with a quarterback.”
With the Patriots seemingly destined to add a quarterback, it will be fascinating to see which approach they take. However, Wingo commented how one of those scenarios would be a new first for the Bill Belichick-led Patriots. “If it is Trey Lance, it would be the first time in the Bill Belichick era that he has taken a quarterback in the first round. The highest he has ever drafted a quarterback is Jimmy Garoppolo, who went 62nd overall.”
It is also important to note that Garoppolo does, in fact, have a no trade clause in his contract with the San Francisco 49ers. In order to be moved to New England, he would need to waive his no trade.
Could a trade to the Patriots revitalize Garoppolo’s NFL career?
Since coming out of Eastern Illinois in 2014, Garoppolo’s career has been somewhat of a rollercoaster. These latest rumors heading into the 2021 NFL Draft are just the latest in a career full of them. However, returning to the team where he spent three seasons as a backup to Tom Brady could be the tonic Garoppolo’s career needs. Let’s take a look back at his career so far.
Drafted by New England Patriots in 2014
The Patriots drafted Garoppolo in the 2014 NFL Draft to be the potential heir apparent to Brady. In his first two seasons, Garoppolo threw a total of 31 passes, completing 20 for 188 yards and a touchdown. Though, it was his third season when Brady was suspended that Garoppolo started to demonstrate his potential.
Garoppolo started the first two games of the seasons against Arizona and Miami. He would throw for a combined 496 yards with 4 touchdowns in less than two games. However, he was injured against the Dolphins in the second start. That injury would cost him the opportunity to start the remaining two games while Brady was unavailable.
After impressing in those two starts, Garoppolo was the subject of several rumors in the 2017 NFL offseason. During the 2017 season, he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers for a second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Garoppolo has had an up-and-down career in San Francisco
Garoppolo’s time in San Francisco has been marked with a number of highs and lows. His start as a 49er was impressive. The team went 5-0 as Garoppolo threw for 1,560 yards with 7 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. In 2019, he led the team to the Super Bowl, throwing for 3,978 yards with 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. However, Garoppolo received a large portion of the blame for the 49ers’ loss against the Chiefs in that game.
The other major lows in his career have come due to injury. Garoppolo played just three games in 2018 and managed just six games in 2020. With no further guaranteed money on Garoppolo’s contract, there have been a host of rumors swirling around possible trades to other NFL teams. With the 49ers virtually assured of selecting a quarterback in Round 1, Garoppolo’s time in San Francisco appears to be coming to a close.
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