New England Patriots: 3 thoughts on Jimmy Garoppolo trade


The New England Patriots trading Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers opens up a bunch of questions.

Fans of the New England Patriots were pretty shocked to hear that backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had been traded. Once past the initial blow, possible story lines start to appear.

The Patriots’ trust in Brady

Back in 2015, Tom Brady told reporters that he wanted to play “Maybe 10 more years.” Earlier this year we got two different answers. In February he said somewhere between three and five years, in May, Robert Kraft said Brady wants to play six or seven more years. There are even talks that the 40-year-old QB wants to play until 50.

Trading away Garoppolo seems to prove that the Patriots organization trusts that Brady does have multiple more years ahead of him.

FOXBORO, MA – OCTOBER 22: Jimmy Garoppolo
FOXBORO, MA – OCTOBER 22: Jimmy Garoppolo /

Why not? He’s in better condition now than he was in his 20s. In recent interviews he’s discussed that he doesn’t wake up with any pain anymore, even when he takes multiple sacks.

I don’t think there are any New England Patriots fans out there that want to see him leave any time soon. The longer he stays the better, and knowing the Pats, if there was any sign of him losing a step he’d be gone.

Big departures = big years

The New England Patriots, and Coach Belichick specifically, are known for having some magical ability to know exactly when a player is going to start faltering. When big trades are made in New England fans don’t bat an eyelash anymore, just assuming (usually correctly) that Belichick knows something they don’t.

After years of following the team I’ve noticed that each Super Bowl winning season, except for 2004, has one of these surprise trades/releases. Let’s take a look through.

Super Bowl XXXVI (2001)

Starting Quarterback Drew Bledsoe injured in the second game of the season. Second year, 6th round quarterback takes over and leads the team to their first Super Bowl victory.

Yes, I know, ‘Bledsoe didn’t leave the team that year, he helped win the AFC Championship.’ The point is, this late-round, skinny QB came out of nowhere to lead the team.

Super Bowl XXXVIII (2003)

Lawyer Milloy, four Time Pro-Bowl Safety is released by the team after contract arguments.

Super Bowl XXXIX (2004)

After the end of the 2003 season, the Patriots managed to trade with the Bengals for running back Corey Dillon. Dillon, at the time, was the team’s all time leading rusher and held many more records. He was vital to the Patriot’s season, and only cost the team a second round pick.

Super Bowl XLIX (2014)

Logan Mankins, a six-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman. Traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 4th round pick and tight end Tim Wright. Pats had o-line troubles before making this trade.

Super Bowl LI (2017)

Young and talented Defensive End Jamie Collins was traded to the Cleveland Browns for either a compensatory 3rd round pick or a 4th round pick.

Whether you see Garoppolo as a “big trade” or not, hoping the streak continues can’t hurt.

How will Garoppolo fare in San Francisco?

When any trade is made one of the first topics of conversation is ‘who won the trade?’ Considering talks that first round picks and more were being offered in the offseason, the answer is clear in my mind.

Related Story: Jimmy Garoppolo was Belichick’s QB of the future

Then again, this isn’t the New England Patriots first surprising trade, and they don’t tend to suffer greatly from them. Those who do tend to be the ones traded.

Brady Backups

Tom Brady has had a very high number of backups that have gone on to start for other teams. The backups have had varying amounts of success, usually ending up as career journeymen and backups. The “luckiest” ones, like Ryan Mallett and Matt Castle, end up being forgettable starters.

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Brian Hoyer is on another level though, playing with six teams since 2011 after leaving the Patriots. Hoyer’s career totals are 55 games, 16-21 record as a starter, and 48 touchdowns to 30 interceptions. Those numbers put him squarely in the ‘decent backup’ pile, so much so that he’s back.

Most, if not all of Brady’s backups that have left have gone to some of the worst teams in the league. Garoppolo is no different.

49ers and Garoppolo

Most people assumed the Cleveland Browns would grab Jimmy G. Not being in Cleveland might have given Garoppolo a chance at the starter’s life.

The 49ers’ offensive line and 0-8 record don’t bode well for Jimmy. He also has to learn the playbook and get comfortable with his increasingly more beat-up team. With the season all but done there’d be no point in starting him right away, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll figure it out.

Next: New England Patriots: Bill Belichick’s Top 10 Trades

He’s played meaningful snaps recently, but playing for the Patriots under Belichick can inflate ability at times. There’s no way to know what Garoppolo has in store in SF, but I wish him all the luck in the world.