According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Patriots are not expected to trade for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo Thursday during the draft, nor “anytime soon.”
Rapoport cites the Patriots’ lack of “room to fit the contract” as, ostensibly, the biggest obstacle to a deal. Garoppolo is owed cash earnings of $24.9 million and $25.6 million over the next two seasons. The Niners, meanwhile, are virtually guaranteed to draft a quarterback with the No. 3 overall pick Thursday night.
This report all but dashes any hopes of the Pats making an aggressive draft-night move to bring Garoppolo back to New England. But it doesn’t necessarily rule out that the 49ers could eventually release Garoppolo and make him a free agent some time between the draft and the start of the season. At that point, the Patriots could bring him in on a deal that costs far less than $25 million per year. But Garoppolo on the open market could also present legitimate competition.
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