A new report indicates that the Patriots aren’t trying to get quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo back from the San Francisco 49ers. But is it really just the latest use of the media to negotiate in public?
As reported on Sunday, sources are telling ESPN’s Jordan Schulz that the Patriots “are not pursuing” Garoppolo. It’s consistent with the reporting from the other side of the fence, which is that the Niners are holding onto Garoppolo for the 2021 season. Schulz mentioned factors such as the Patriots’ relative lack of cap space as of Monday ($12.6 million, per Miguel Benzan), the return of Cam Newton, and the 2021 NFL Draft being “flush with QBs” as preventing a reunion for Bill Belichick and Tom Brady’s former successor.
It’s possible that the current QB situation for both teams will hold, and if the Patriots really want to get Garoppolo back, they’ll do it in 2022 at the earliest. But we do call this The Lying Season™ for a reason. There’s little reason to believe that the messaging from both teams is no more than posturing in trade talks.
Why would the Niners want the Patriots to think they’re looking to trade Garoppolo, even though they’ve tacitly announced to the world that they’re taking the best QB available after moving up to No. 3 in the 2021 draft? Why would the Patriots want to come off desperate to bring Jimmy G back? So instead of relaying their true intentions, they’re engaging in the news cycle equivalent of two squabbling friends, sitting with their backs turned to each other, arms crossed and noses in the air.
Plans can always change, just like it did for the Patriots in 2017 after Adam Schefter insisted for months that they’re not trading Garoppolo. But we may have to wait until the first round of the draft on April 29 to see anything different from what we’ve already heard.
Until then, follow the advice of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. DTA, Don’t Trust Anybody. Especially what NFL coaches and GMs are telling reporters.
Whether the Patriots end up getting Garoppolo back or not, it would still behoove them to add someone with upside at the QB position at some point. Keep scrolling to read more about what’s left on Bill Belichick’s plate in the 2021 offseason.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster 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 and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.