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FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 25: Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots embraces Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers after a game on October 25, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Until his fate is decided, Jimmy Garoppolo is going to come up all the time when discussing the Patriots. He is an obvious candidate to return to New England, if the San Francisco 49ers decide to move on from him.

A new nugget from Albert Breer of The MMQB suggests that they’ve already tried. It’s really a nugget within a nugget: in a section about the Colts’ search for their next quarterback, Breer reported within the report that Garoppolo “briefly came up in the DeForest Buckner trade talks” in 2019. Indy settled for Philip Rivers and made it to the wild card round.

But the Garoppolo piece of that is the latest sign that San Fran wants to go in a different direction at quarterback. It’s already reported that many league insiders believe they will part ways.

Could Jimmy Garoppolo end up back with the Patriots in 2021? (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Could Jimmy Garoppolo end up back with the Patriots in 2021? (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Garoppolo may seem easier to trade now, with another year peeled off his contract. He’s due $24.8 million and $25.6 million in cash over the next two seasons, per Spotrac. But the Niners could also cut him and save the same amount of money as a trade, if they do it before June 1 – which means every other team can just wait for him to hit free agency.

MORE: Jimmy Garoppolo and the succession plan that never happened

So the question is, how badly would Bill Belichick want Jimmy G. back? Trading for him would certainly be an aggressive move at the most important position on the field. Anyone who wants Garoppolo badly enough can bypass the open market with a trade.

However it happens, signs continue to point to Garoppolo wearing a different uniform next season. So expect the Patriots to keep coming up too.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff or send him a nasty email at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.