Many New England Patriots fans believe the Cam Newton era will end in two weeks, and others are hopeful it could lead to Jimmy Garoppolo’s return this offseason.
Those people may have received a positive development Tuesday, and for two different reasons.
First, the San Francisco 49ers revealed they aren’t too confident in Garoppolo playing again this season. The 49ers quarterback, as you may recall, landed on injured reserve in November after a high ankle sprain. San Francisco will not make the playoffs, and essentially its season is over in two weeks. The development simply could be the 49ers realizing there is no value in rushing Garoppolo back for two meaningless games.
But it also could mean something else, and maybe their second move indicates that.
The 49ers went out and signed former first-round quarterback Josh Rosen off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad.
Maybe it means nothing. Maybe the signing really is because one San Francisco QB tested positive for COVID-19 and the other suffered a Week 15 injury. Or maybe it’s more than that.
Rosen, you may remember, has had quite the start to his professional career. He was drafted No. 10 overall by the Cardinals in 2018, but was traded one year later as Arizona landed the No. 1 pick (Kyler Murray) in 2019. Rosen then spent his second season in Miami, but was the odd man out after the Dolphins landed first-rounder Tua Tagovailoa in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The UCLA product is just 23 years old and, if he lands in the right situation, could prove to be a franchise QB. Could that happen in San Francisco? It presents an interesting possibility, especially with Rosen now guided by offensive-minded coach Kyle Shanahan.
Well, how does any of this impact the Patriots?
If Shanahan likes what he sees from Rosen, maybe that makes Garoppolo expendable. After all, there already has been rumors surrounding Garoppolo’s future in San Francisco, and the familiarity with New England prompts obvious speculation.
Then again, the Patriots clearly have unsolved issues when it comes to the quarterback position.
Could Newton come back? Sure. Could Jarrett Stidham be the next guy? Maybe. But could Garoppolo make a return to New England?
It’s not all that crazy to think about. And a few specific aspects Tuesday further depicted that.