Why Colin Cowherd Thinks Door Is Open For Jimmy Garoppolo To Rejoin Patriots

'It's over for Jimmy Garoppolo in San Francisco'

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Jimmy Garoppolo’s season could be over.

So, too, could be his time with the San Francisco 49ers.

That’s the theory Colin Cowherd floated Tuesday, two days after Garoppolo suffered an ankle injury that 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan since has acknowledged might require surgery.

“It’s over for Jimmy Garoppolo in San Francisco,” Cowherd said. “There are three things as a quarterback that will end your career for one team: You’re inconsistent; Garoppolo is. The coach has lost faith in you; the coach has. And you can’t stay healthy. He’s done in San Francisco.”

Garoppolo has two seasons remaining on the five-year, $137.5 million contract he signed with San Francisco in February 2018, less than four months after being acquired from the New England Patriots for a second-round draft pick. He’s less than one full season removed from leading the Niners to Super Bowl LIV, where they lost to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Still, Cowherd is convinced San Francisco is prepared to move on from the 29-year-old this offseason, perhaps in favor of someone like Matt Ryan (currently of the Atlanta Falcons) or Sam Darnold (currently of the New York Jets).

And if that happens, Cowherd wouldn’t be surprised to see the Patriots pursue Garoppolo, who spent three-plus seasons as Tom Brady’s backup in New England after being drafted by Bill Belichick and Co. in the second round in 2014.

“Everybody’s done before they know their done. Doesn’t mean he’s done in the NFL. I think New England is gonna make a run at him,” Cowherd said. “But Kyle Shanahan is in a division with Russell Wilson, who is never injured. With Kyler Murray, who you can never get a big hit on. And Jared Goff, say what you want but he’s never hurt. And Garoppolo cannot stay healthy.”

There had been rumors of a potential Jimmy G-New England reunion this past offseason when San Francisco considered going after Brady in free agency. The 49ers ultimately stuck with Garoppolo, while Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Patriots settled on Cam Newton as their starting QB.

Newton has struggled in New England, though, suggesting he’s probably not the team’s long-term answer. So, maybe it’s not too farfetched to think the Patriots will explore the idea of bringing back Garoppolo.

“I think New England can give him a run,” Cowherd said. “New England has a history of very good offensive line play. You know Belichick is gonna play good defense and protect his quarterbacks. I mean, that’s kinda what they do. And they know Garoppolo, and they like Garoppolo, and maybe they’ll be too good to get a top-three quarterback in the draft. And we know the history of Garoppolo in New England. But when I looked at this injury, I’m like, ‘OK, it’s over (in San Francisco).’ “

Garoppolo’s time with the 49ers started promising, and they came oh so close to capturing the Lombardi Trophy last season. But circumstances change, and Garoppolo’s inability to stay on the field has been troubling.

We’ll see if it opens to the door for him to leave the Bay Area and head back to Foxboro where it all began.

Thumbnail photo via Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports Images

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