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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Jimmy Garoppolo Traded to 49ers

Jimmy Garoppolo, former New England Patriots player.

Jimmy Garoppolo, former New England Patriots player.

There’s been a lot of different opinions flying around the New England Patriots. Their trade deadline move sent quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo—an almost four-year veteran on the team and perceived successor to Tom Brady—to the San Francisco 49ers for a second-round pick.

The main question on everybody’s mind is, “Why didn’t Bill Belichick trade Garoppolo during the off-season for an even bigger return?” It’s a fair question, so we’re going to explore the reasons why the five-time Super Bowl champion head coach made this decision.

Up until the news broke, I was a firm believer that Garoppolo would take over after Brady walked away, whenever that may be. With that said, I think it would be wrong of me, or anyone else, not to trust Belichick on big decisions like this. Sure, he’s made mistakes throughout his tenure in New England, but when it comes to franchise-altering moves, he almost always knocks them out of the park.

I believe that Belichick would have loved to keep Garoppolo, but his contract situation didn’t line up with Brady’s. The return on a trade in the off-season was reportedly a high first-round pick and maybe even another pick. This left the Patriots with little return. I think that back in the spring, Belichick was still trying to figure out a way to keep Garoppolo on the roster. It’s hard to decipher what has changed since then, but it’s definitely one of two things.

Belichick may have entered this season with full intentions of signing Garoppolo to an extension, keeping Garoppolo on the bench behind Brady for at least one more year. Instead of using the franchise tag on him, they could have paid him in a bridge deal. Heading into this season, perhaps Garoppolo and Belichick were on the same page and working toward a deal. Through the first eight weeks, if this theory is true, it appears that Garoppolo’s mindset may have changed. Regardless of the money, if he believes that he’s worthy of being a franchise quarterback, it would be stupid of him not to want to start. It’s possible that Garoppolo has since told Belichick that he isn’t going to accept another year of being a backup, so Belichick was forced to make the trade.

On the other hand, maybe something else changed in these past eight weeks. It’s possible that Belichick wanted to gain more data on Brady at age 40 while also examining Garoppolo’s talent. Brady has been as good as ever this year, and Belichick could have figured out that maybe Garoppolo isn’t as good as he once thought. If that’s the case, then Belichick decided to pull the plug on Garoppolo now instead of losing him for nothing at the end of the year.

Although the second-round pick doesn’t seem like the Patriots got enough value for Garoppolo, I don’t think that Belichick really cares. Think about it: he usually flips his first-round picks into multiple second- and third-round picks anyway. Maybe, in his mind, he knew that in the off-season he could’ve acquired a first-round pick. Maybe he was more concerned about collecting the data and information he needed to make a choice.

As long as Brady stays healthy and Belichick keeps coaching, Patriots fans have nothing to worry about.