Jimmy Garoppolo was forced to watch on the sideline as Tom Brady led the Patriots to a pair of Super Bowl victories.

Now, just over two years removed from his New England tenure, Garoppolo will take the Super Bowl stage as a starter.

The 28-year-old will lead the 49ers into Hard Rock Stadium where San Francisco will battle the Kansas City Chiefs for football’s ultimate prize. The Niners’ impressive run this season has prompted many to speculate whether the Patriots regret parting ways with Garoppolo in favor of hanging on to Tom Brady, who showcased some decline in the 2019 season.

If you ask former NFL defensive end Marcellus Wiley, there’s no doubt New England wishes it could have the deal back.

“They certainly regret it,” Wiley said Tuesday on FS1’s “Speak For Yourself.” “You gotta remember that what was going on was really interesting if you dive into the details. Don Yee represented Jimmy G and Tom Brady. So not only did he hear both sides of the conversation in regards to Tom Brady, but he heard it in regards to Jimmy G. Remember when they offered him that low-ball extension to keep Jimmy G comfortable while they rode Tom Brady out? But what did Brady end up doing? Brady won an MVP then had the greatest comeback and Jimmy G and his agent realized we gotta get something for this guy because we don’t know when the end is in sight in terms of Tom Brady. But Bill Belichick saw it. His successor was Jimmy G, but he was outmanned because Don Yee also consults for Bob Kraft. That’s three on one. So Belichick is sitting there like, ‘Can we keep focus on the field?’ Tom Brady is amazing in accomplishment but in terms of 1-on-1 competition, I’m not sure if he’s going to beat out Jimmy G in a couple years. They just really suffered from bad timing because they tried to keep Jimmy G comfortable until this moment came but they couldn’t.”

Wiley sure seems to be leaning on revisionist history in his argument. Sure, at this moment it’s easy to say the Patriots regret the trade given Garoppolo is one win away from a Lombardi Trophy and New England’s future at QB is looking ominous. But when you look back at when the trade was made, the Patriots really had no other choice. Brady still was playing at an elite level, and slapping a lucrative franchise tag on Garoppolo just to watch him ride the bench made little sense. Let’s not forget Brady led New England to its sixth Super Bowl title last season either.

And as crazy as it sounds, the jury still might be out on Garoppolo, who only threw a combined 27 passes over the past two weeks including eight in the NFC Championship Game. There’s no doubt Jimmy G is a capable starter, but ascension to superstardom is far from a guarantee. Who knows, maybe the Patriots have something in Jarrett Stidham, or maybe in the next draft or two, they’ll bring in a QB who goes on to be on par or even better than Garoppolo.

It’s a useless argument, quite frankly, as we’ll likely never receive a definitive answer. As such, we probably should just put it on the backburner.

Thumbnail photo via Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports Images