Why the Garoppolo trade happened and what it means

Photo Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

A day before the NFL trade deadline, New England Patriots’ quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for a second-round draft pick in the 2018 NFL draft. This trade came as a shock to the Patriots fan base, as they believed he would be the predecessor to QB Tom Brady, as he performed well in two and a half games in the 2016-2017 season after Brady was suspended four games for the Deflategate scandal. Garoppolo was drafted in the second-round in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Patriots and played in six games his rookie year.

So what does this trade mean for the Patriots and the 49ers? Here are some thoughts:

  • Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and the franchise believe Brady can play another 5 years for the team without any decrease in playing capabilities
  • Heading into the next off-season, Garoppolo would have been a free agent. The Patriots could have possibly put the franchise tag on him, but that would have left out cornerback Malcolm Butler, likely the top player heading into free agency for the Patriots, to sign with a different team
  • The second-round pick the Patriots received can be used to bolster their team in the offseason (for trade or draft), likely on the defensive side as they are struggling (but have improved over the last month)
  • The 49ers will no longer pursue Redskins QB Kirk Cousins after rumors spread this past off-season that they were looking to trade for him. Head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch think Garoppolo is a franchise quarterback and can help get the team’s offense rolling
  • With that said, it also means that it is unlikely they draft a quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft. The 49ers started out with QB Brian Hoyer (released and signed by the Patriots) and C.J. Beathard. Hoyer was not performing well and was benched for Beathard in Week 6 against the Washington Redskins. Since then, Beathard as been performing better than Hoyer and the team will likely move forward with him (or possibly trade him after getting Garoppolo).

Although the team was able to get an elite-caliber QB, the 49ers will continue to lose games unless the defense is fixed. Look forward to the organization signing and drafting players on the defense side in the upcoming off-season.

-Saj Jain