- The New England Patriots traded Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday.
- The trade came as a surprise as the Patriots reportedly viewed Garoppolo as their future franchise quarterback.
- The Patriots tried to convince Garoppolo to re-sign with them this coming offseason, but he wanted to get the chance to start for another team, not play behind Tom Brady.
The New England Patriots made the stunning decision on Monday to trade Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2018 second-round pick.
The deal came as a surprise as the Patriots had reportedly viewed Garoppolo as their future franchise quarterback and wanted him to eventually take over when Tom Brady retires.
According to The MMQB’s Albert Breer, that sentiment never changed for the Patriots — instead it was Garoppolo who was ready to move on.
Breer reported that the Patriots “put potential solutions in front of Garoppolo” in hopes of convincing him to stay before becoming a free agent this offseason. The Patriots were reportedly willing to pay Garoppolo like a starting quarterback, even if it meant paying a high bill for having two starting quarterbacks on the roster.
According to Breer, Garoppolo wanted to start, not just get paid like he was starting.
Dealing with Garoppolo’s future was always going to be awkward. Yes, the Patriots wanted to keep him, but continuing to back up Brady couldn’t have appealed to Garoppolo, who turns 26 in November. Likewise, the Patriots could not turn the team over to Garoppolo with Brady still playing the way he has been at age 40. The timelines just didn’t add up.
Breer asked Garoppolo in July about his role and it was obvious he wanted to start.
“I wouldn’t say I’m frustrated. Eager to play is probably a better way to put it,” Garoppolo said. “I’m just not used to being a backup. I want to be a starter, and compete to be a starter.”
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on “SportsCenter” after the trade that it became obvious to the Patriots that they weren’t going to be able to keep Garoppolo.
“The contract talks with Jimmy Garoppolo had been going on since the spring,” Schefter said. “But it became increasingly obvious over time that they were not going to be able to keep him. They had hoped to keep him. They had hoped to keep him on board. It wasn’t as if this time has lost faith in Jimmy Garoppolo, or decided to go in a different direction. I think that they recognized, basically, the horse was going to be out of the barn.”
The trade is a vote of confidence in Brady’s future and his ability to continue playing well into his 40s. The Patriots in the meantime will need to find a backup for Brady after trading their second- and third- stringers this season.
Meanwhile, the trade looks like a win for the 49ers, as they acquire a quarterback that the Patriots apparently viewed as talented enough succeed Brady. Garoppolo just didn’t want to wait that long.