BOSTON (CBS) — You just never know what Bill Belichick is going to do ahead of the NFL trade deadline.
After months of speculation and several reports that said the New England Patriots would not trade Jimmy Garoppolo, the Patriots have traded Jimmy Garoppolo. New England is sending their backup QB to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2018 second-round pick.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the trade on Monday night, with the team officially announcing the move on Tuesday morning.
The Patriots, who are 6-2 on the season and in their bye week, do not currently have anyone behind 40-year-old Tom Brady on their depth chart. Expect them to sign another quarterback in the coming days. Brian Hoyer, who was released by San Francisco after the trade, is the likeliest candidate.
The Patriots reportedly had several suitors for Garoppolo around the NFL Draft, and could have possibly snagged multiple picks in return, but it was reported they had no desire to trade the quarterback. That obviously changed on Monday. Schefter reported that the two sides had discussions about a deal early in the day, and came to an agreement Monday evening.
Garoppolo will be a free agent after this season.
The Patriots drafted Garoppolo in the second round, 62nd overall, in the 2014 NFL Draft and it appeared he was being groomed to be Brady’s eventual replacement. He started the first two games of the 2016 season while Brady served his four-game DeflateGate suspension, completing 71 percent of his passes and throwing four touchdowns before a shoulder injury in Week 2 ended his fill-in duties. Garoppolo played in 17 games in his three seasons with the Patriots, but obviously made just those two starts with Brady at the helm.
He showed potential, but Bill Belichick decided to cash in on the backup’s upside. It’s a risky move with no backup for Brady, but the pick acquired from the 49ers figures to be one of the top picks in the second round.
The Patriots traded third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who the Patriots drafted in the third round last year, to the Indianapolis Colts ahead of the season for wide receiver Phillip Dorsett.
The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday afternoon at 4pm. The Patriots likely aren’t done wheeling and dealing.