Mac Jones’ second-year regression with the Patriots leaves open the door for continued quarterback debate in New England.
And you know what that means? The Jimmy Garoppolo speculation almost certainly will pick back up this NFL offseason, assuming the veteran QB leaves the San Francisco 49ers.
Colin Cowherd and Jason McIntyre on Thursday predicted landing spots for several quarterbacks, including Garoppolo. And while Cowherd believes the New York Jets are a good fit for Tom Brady’s former backup, McIntyre envisions a scenario where Bill Belichick brings Garoppolo back to New England.
“I will go with a major curveball, and I will say Jimmy Garoppolo lands with the New England Patriots,” McIntyre said on FS1.
A long shot? Maybe. But the Patriots certainly need to determine whether Jones is their long-term franchise quarterback, otherwise New England might soon need to explore other options.
“Colin, if you remember, Belichick drafted Garoppolo in 2014,” McIntyre explained. “You’ve been saying for weeks now that (Patriots owner Robert) Kraft is going to say to Bill, ‘Hey, what’s going on, Bill? Are you going to make some staff changes?’ Bill will say, ‘You know what? You made me get rid of Jimmy Garoppolo. Remember when Tom Brady and his wife complained to you? Bring me back Garoppolo and I’ll show you I can get to the playoffs and do some damage.’ Mac Jones, I think we would agree he’s regressed a little bit. I think Jimmy Garoppolo to the Patriots makes a lot of sense.”
Garoppolo reentered San Francisco’s starting lineup in Week 2 when Trey Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury. The 49ers were dealt another plot twist in Week 13, though, when Garoppolo went down with a season-ending foot injury, thrusting rookie Brock Purdy (the final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft) into action.
It’s unclear what the future holds for Garoppolo, who’s set to become a free agent this offseason at age 31. But a return to New England, where Garoppolo spent three-plus seasons to begin his career, would be a fascinating development, if nothing else.