How Bill Belichick Sold John Lynch, 49ers On Jimmy Garoppolo Trade


January 30, 2020

MIAMI — John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan didn’t need much convincing when Bill Belichick called offering quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for a second-round draft pick.

But a glowing recommendation from the New England Patriots head coach helped push that deal to fruition.

Speaking with reporters Wednesday at the San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl LIV hotel, Lynch recalled the phone call from Belichick that led to that fateful 2017 trade.

“We felt it was a reasonable cost — albeit a high one; a second-round pick — to have an opportunity to find a franchise quarterback,” the 49ers general manager said. “And that was one thing in our conversations with Bill Belichick — when I talked to him, when Kyle talked to him — (he said,) ‘You’re going to love this kid. His teammates love him.’ And Bill is not prone to hyperbole. He doesn’t say things just to say them. If he says something, he means it. So that stuck with me.”

Garoppolo, Tom Brady’s backup for 3 1/2 seasons in New England, became San Francisco’s starter late in the 2017 season. The 28-year-old missed the majority of the 2018 campaign with a torn ACL but has started every game this season, ranking in the top five in yards per attempt, completion percentage and touchdown passes and eighth in passer rating while managing one of the NFL’s most run-heavy offenses.

The 49ers are 23-5 in games Garoppolo has started, including comfortable victories over the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers in his first two playoff starts. He’ll face off against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium.

Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images
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