The New England Patriots have been consistently linked to Jimmy Garoppolo throughout the offseason, and many believe there is a chance they could trade for him at some point during the 2021 NFL Draft. Even if they don’t, Garoppolo may still wind up being their starting quarterback this season.
Greg A. Bedard of Boston Sports Journal does not think the Patriots will feel any sense of urgency to trade for Garoppolo even if they don’t land a quarterback in the draft. The way he sees it, New England can just wait patiently for the 49ers to “inevitably release Jimmy at some point.”
Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan seemed to confirm this week that Garoppolo has no future with the team. He said the decision to trade up to No. 3 in the draft stemmed from San Francisco needing a starting quarterback. He also gave a very interesting response when asked if he could guarantee Garoppolo will be on the roster after the draft.
Garoppolo is set to earn more than $24 million in base salary this season. The 49ers would absorb a dead cap hit of just $2.8 million if they release him. They intentionally structured Garoppolo’s contract that way and are now in position to take advantage of it.
The Patriots and other teams likely believe there is no way the Niners can keep Garoppolo at his current salary, especially if they plan to start their rookie quarterback right away. If teams believe Garoppolo is going to be released, that helps explain this report.