After a year-long experiment with Cam Newton under center, the New England Patriots will likely have a new quarterback for a second year in a row, after the departure of Tom Brady. According to one person very familiar with the team, former Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo is on the top of the team’s list.
Of course, that requires the San Francisco 49ers to give up on Jimmy G. The team has been rumored as a potential destination for a few different quarterbacks, and could also look to find a new passer in the NFL Draft.
While he did guide the team to the Super Bowl in 2019-20, that run was far more about an elite defense and run game. There were crucial moments that year in which head coach Kyle Shanahan looked to be actively hiding his QB1 within the offense. Apparently Bill Belichick still has faith in him.
“From what I gather from talking to people this week, over the past week, Jimmy Garoppolo still is far and away their Plan A,” Greg Bedard of The Boston Sports Journal, on a recent podcast. “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.”
“Don’t believe anything John Lynch says. John Lynch has no power there. I guess he runs personnel, but it’s Kyle Shanahan’s show from top to bottom at that place. Shanahan plays things close to the vest, doesn’t show his cards… he might even leave Lynch twisting in the wind.
The 49ers have been connected to Teddy Bridgewater, a move that would require bringing on his $17 million contract. As Bedard implies, if the team adds him, he’s coming to start in place of Garoppolo. If the team is even interested in him it certainly looks like Jimmy Garoppolo is expendable.
“Make no doubt, Garoppolo is Plan A for the New England Patriots, and Patriots fans should be rooting for the 49ers to do something at quarterback, and if you think Teddy Bridgewater is going there to be a $17 million backup insurance policy for Jimmy Garoppolo, I have a hard time seeing that,” Bedard said.
Garoppolo played in just six games this season, dealing with injuries throughout the season. He completed 94-of-140 passes for 1,096 yards, seven touchdowns, and five interceptions, with a career-worst 3.6-percent interception rate.