Although the San Francisco 49ers moved up in the draft, presumably to select a quarterback, they aren’t willing to part ways with Jimmy Garoppolo just yet.
The New England Patriots have been heavily linked to their former QB, but they likely won’t make a move for him this offseason if he becomes available. According to Peter King of NBC Sports, it could be more realistic for the Patriots to target Garoppolo in 2022 if they don’t land a quarterback in the 2021 draft.
“One more thing: I’m not very bullish on the Patriots making a move for Garoppolo this year. At all,” King writes. “When Bill Belichick worked under Bill Parcells with the Giants, I know he had to hear Parcells harp on availability being more important than ability, and I just can’t see Belichick making a big investment (in a pick and in a contract) in a guy who’s missed 23 games in the last three years due to injury. Plus, if New England gets a quarterback, somehow, high in this draft, they’d have salary-manageability and a young prospect, and the yearning for Garoppolo goes away. If the Patriots don’t get a quarterback this year, I could see them pursue Garoppolo on the cheap in 2022. We’ll see.”
The Niners reportedly want to keep Garoppolo onboard in 2021 so that whichever quarterback they select third overall can develop appropriately for a year before taking over the starting role.
However, San Francisco reportedly wants a first-round pick for Garoppolo this offseason if they opt to move him, according to NFL Network’s Mike Giardi. So the possibility he gets traded isn’t entirely out of the question.
The Patriots have been in need of a quality quarterback since Tom Brady opted to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. New England re-signed Cam Newton for the 2021 campaign, but it’s unclear if he’s still capable of being successful after a disappointing 2020 season.