The Patriots theoretically could go in a number of different directions to address their pressing need at quarterback.
But if New England had its way, the franchise reportedly would prefer to reunite with an old friend.
Rumors of Jimmy Garoppolo potentially returning to Foxboro have been circulating for some time now. The 49ers have the opportunity to get out of Garoppolo’s contract this offseason without significant financial impact, and there’s reason to believe San Francisco is not unequivocally committed to the 29-year-old. But as we know, Bill Belichick thinks quite highly of Garoppolo, who the Patriots seemingly would be interested in pursuing if he was made available.
In fact, Garoppolo reportedly is New England’s top choice under center this offseason.
“From what I gather from talking to people this week, over the past week, Jimmy Garoppolo still is far and away their Plan A,? Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard recently said on his podcast, as transcribed by Boston.com. ?That, if they had to draw it up, exactly the optimal situation for the Patriots for this coming season, it?s Jimmy G coming back here. And of course, that?s all dependent on the 49ers doing something.”
It only would make sense for the 49ers to cut bait — whether it be through trade or release — with Garoppolo if a clear-cut better option was at their disposal. As it stands, that option does not appear to be out there. No quarterback headed to the open market clearly is better than Garoppolo, and trades for Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson don’t appear to be realistic at this juncture.
Stranger things have happened, and maybe Garoppolo could end up being a practical play for the Patriots. But the far more likely outcome for New England seems to be the organization drafting a quarterback next month and/or bringing on another bridge player at the position.