BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots made a surprising move on Tuesday night, trading backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2018 second-round pick.
The return has most fans wondering if the Patriots could have gotten more if they had traded Garoppolo last offseason. There were several reports that the Browns were willing to part with a first-round selection and an additional pick, but the Patriots held firm and kept Garoppolo, despite his upcoming free agency. Walking away with just a second-round pick for him now has some fans flustered at the small return.
Greg Bedard of Boston Sports Journal joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Tuesday morning to break down the trade, and said the Patriots were not interested in dealing Garoppolo over the offseason. If they wanted to cash in on his upside around the draft, they probably could have pushed a team like the Browns and gotten the 12th overall pick and something else along the lines of a third-round pick.
But when that didn’t happen, all signs pointed to Jimmy being Brady’s eventual replacement. Many fans were hoping the Patriots and Garoppolo could agree on a “bridge deal” to keep the QB happy while he sits behind Brady, but Bedard said that just isn’t a reality in the NFL.
“It took them long enough, but they came to the realization that Jimmy didn’t want to sit on the bench forever and wait for Brady to stop playing when he’s 50,” said Bedard. “In reality, football players want to play football. [A bridge deal] was never in the realm of possibility. The Patriots held out hope for the longest time that that was a possibility. This was not about them changing on Jimmy or him not being part of their future. He very much was and they wanted him to be the guy after Brady. They just didn’t know how to get there and bridge the whole Brady-Garoppolo thing with Brady looking like he is going to play until he’s 45.”
Bedard said the trade signals the Patriots admitting that, with their current roster, they do not have a shot at winning a Super Bowl if it’s not No. 12 taking the snaps.
“If you took this team from the beginning of the season, with Julian Edelman, Dont’a Hightower, Chris Hogan and with their offseason pieces actually working and part of the offense and defense, you could have confidence saying Jimmy could deliver a Super Bowl title. After the Edelman and Hightower injuries, and all the guys who haven’t worked out to this point, I think the Patriots said ‘we’re at a point right now where if Tom goes down and Jimmy is put in there, we can’t win a Super Bowl. The only way to win a Super Bowl with this roster the way it is with Tom Brady, because he covers up so much.’
“I don’t care who you bring in at this point [as Brady’s backup]. If Tom Brady goes down, the Patriots aren’t winning a Super Bowl,” said Bedard.
Bedard also touched on the team’s biggest needs ahead of Tuesday afternoon’s trade deadline, highlighting tight end as a position they should target.
“I think they need a tight end and there aren’t many out there,” said Bedard, adding that Jimmy Graham is likely off the table after the Seahawks acquired offensive lineman Duane Brown from the Texans on Monday. “This team is having all sorts of problems in the red zone and they don’t really have a lot of red zone targets. God forbid Rob Gronkowski goes down, they have next to nothing at the position. If he does, it’s Dwayne Allen and Jacoby Hollister at tight end. There is no way the offense can function if Gronk goes down.”
Listen to Toucher & Rich’s full chat with Greg Bedard in the podcast above!