Can Jimmy Garoppolo Break Trend Of Ex-Patriots Backups Flopping Elsewhere?


Jimmy Garoppolo officially began the second chapter of his NFL career Tuesday, boarding a plane to San Francisco after the New England Patriots traded him to the 49ers for a 2018 second-round draft pick.

Garoppolo is the latest in a long line of Tom Brady backups to leave New England. So far, exactly zero of them have become top-tier starting quarterbacks.

Matt Cassel, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett and Jacoby Brissett all have lost more games than they’ve won since ending their respective Patriots tenures, boasting a combined record of 47-71.

Cassel, who started 15 games for the Patriots in 2008 after Brady tore his ACL, had the most success outside of New England. He threw 27 touchdown passes with seven interceptions in 2010 — his second season with the Kansas City Chiefs — to earn a Pro Bowl selection.

Hoyer also showed some flashes for the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans but, like Cassel, eventually was relegated back to second string. The 49ers were set to release Hoyer after completing the Garoppolo trade, prompting mass speculation that the 32-year-old could return to Foxboro.

It’s too early to make any definitive judgments on Brissett, who has started in place of the injured Andrew Luck since being traded to the Indianapolis Colts last month. And Mallett … don’t even get us started on Mallett.

Expectations for Garoppolo are higher than they were for any of those players, however. He was the highest draft pick of the group (62nd overall in 2014) and was viewed as a legitimate heir apparent to Brady before the trade. He also looked good in his only two NFL starts to date, completing 42 of 59 passes for 496 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports Images

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