The Patriots all but surely will add at least one quarterback before the start of training camp this summer.
Peter King doesn’t believe Jimmy Garopplo will be one of those additions in New England, however.
The Garoppolo rumor mill has been going strong since the start of the NFL offseason and it went to a higher gear after the 49ers traded for the third overall pick in the 2021 draft. Seeing as it’s a virtual certainty San Francisco will use that selection on a QB, many thought the organization would make Garoppolo available, and the Patriots would make sense as a suitor if the Niners shopped the 29-year-old.
For starters, San Francisco appears to have no intention of moving Garoppolo any time soon. But as King explained in his latest Football Morning in America column, New England’s interest in trading for Jimmy G — at least at this juncture — might not be as strong as you think.
” … I’m not very bullish on the Patriots making a move for Garoppolo this year. At all,” King wrote for NBC Sports. “When Bill Belichick worked under Bill Parcells with the Giants, I know he had to hear Parcells harp on availability being more important than ability, and I just can’t see Belichick making a big investment (in a pick and in a contract) in a guy who’s missed 23 games in the last three years due to injury. Plus, if New England gets a quarterback, somehow, high in this draft, they’d have salary-manageability and a young prospect, and the yearning for Garoppolo goes away. If the Patriots don’t get a quarterback this year, I could see them pursue Garoppolo on the cheap in 2022. We?ll see.”
The Niners’ power play up the draft board might have been made with Garoppolo’s concerning injury history in mind. San Francisco is a win-now football team, but it floundered last season after Garoppolo went down. The 49ers’ plan now seems to be starting the 2021 season with Garoppolo under center while having a rookie signal-caller with potential waiting in the wings.
As for the Patriots, the draft probably is the most practical outlet for bolstering their QB depth at this point. When New England will select a signal-caller remains to be seen, but one veteran draft analyst currently projects Belichick and Co. to move up in the first round to land one of the best in this year’s class.