NFL Rumors: New Details On Why Patriots-Jimmy Garoppolo Trade Fell Apart

Should Bill Belichick have taken this deal?


October 27, 2021

For a while this offseason, it sure seemed as if Jimmy Garoppolo and the Patriots were heading for a reunion.

Trade rumors surrounded the two parties during the leadup to the 2021 NFL Draft, with New England reportedly prioritizing the 49ers quarterback over other options. Of course, a trade never materialized, and San Francisco eventually drafted Trey Lance third overall with the Patriots selecting Mac Jones at No. 15.

But why did the Garoppolo trade fall apart? Investigative reporter Seth Wickersham offered some insight in his new book, “It’s Better to be Feared: The New England Patriots Dynasty and the Pursuit of Greatness.” Bill Belichick apparently was hoping to pay roughly the same price Kyle Shanahan paid to acquire Garoppolo a few years prior.

“There was an informal call between a high-level representative of the Patriots and a high-level 49ers official,” Wickersham wrote, as transcribed by’s Khari Thompson. “What was Garoppolo’s price? New England wondered if a second-rounder would suffice — calling it even from 2017. But the 49ers wouldn’t take less than a first.”

Wickersham added: “The Patriots reached the same conclusion as San Francisco — they liked the potential of the available first-round quarterbacks more than Garoppolo — and moved on.”

The Patriots did not submit a formal offer for Garoppolo, according to Wickersham.

Ultimately, it looks like the Patriots chose the right path.

Jones hasn’t been perfect this season, but he seemingly has the tools necessary to be a franchise quarterback. The oft-injured Garoppolo, meanwhile, has been banged up and mediocre this season for the 49ers. The jury remains out on Lance, who barely has played.

Worte noting: Ex-Patriot Martellus Bennett recently — and profanely — criticized Garoppolo for missing a game in 2016.

Thumbnail photo via Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports Images
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