The Patriots had no other choice but to trade Jimmy Garoppolo. Nick Wright understands that.
But if you ask the “First Things First” co-host, Bill Belichick likely wishes he tackled the blockbuster deal differently.
New England sent Garoppolo to San Francisco midway through the 2017 season in exchange for a second-round pick. Fast forward a little over two years, and Garoppolo’s 49ers will be playing on the NFL’s biggest stage, while the Patriots currently have an uncertain future at quarterback.
While Wright believes New England, in a vacuum, doesn’t regret parting ways with Jimmy G, the FOX Sports 1 personality believes Belichick straying from the norm troubled his team.
“Belichick did something he never does, which is he wasn’t cold, he wasn’t calculated,” Wright said. “He let, I think, old enemies get the best of him as far as not wanting to trade with Cleveland, who would have given them the 12th pick of the (2017) draft. And he wanted to do what was best reportedly for Jimmy Garoppolo, sending him to a place with Kyle Shanahan, somebody respected, where he could succeed the most. Because of that, they got 30 cents on the dollar for the asset. They got the 42nd pick when they could’ve had the 12th pick of the draft, which turned into Deshaun Watson, which could have been the most seamless transition plan ever imaginable. So, I don’t think the Patriots regret it because they’ve been to the Super Bowl twice since then. They were not going to be able to keep him at the contract he wanted. I think the manner in which he was traded, I think was a rare misstep by Bill Belichick and I think he does regret that.”
"The Patriots shouldn't regret when they traded Jimmy G. …. They've been to the Super Bowl twice since then & they weren't going to be able to keep him. The manner in which he was traded was a rare misstep by Bill Belichick & I think he does regret that." — @getnickwright pic.twitter.com/K5L1xm0UJp
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) January 22, 2020
We’ll likely never know if the Patriots actually could have obtained that draft pick from the Browns, but at a minimum, New England probably could have hauled in a bit more from San Francisco. The 49ers reportedly were “stunned” when Belichick only asked for a second-rounder in exchange for Garoppolo, so much so that they reportedly were prepared to sweeten their offer.
Belichick typically is the one doing the fleecing in transactions, so it probably only was a matter of time before he saw the other side.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images