BOSTON (CBS) — Based on recent comments from Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels, few players have been tougher for the Patriots to let go than Jimmy Garoppolo. The head coach and offensive coordinator have each given nothing but huge praise for the now-former Patriots quarterback, whom the team traded to the 49ers on Monday night for a 2018 second-round pick.
After Belichick offered a glowing statement about Garoppolo in his Tuesday conference call, Wednesday was McDaniels’ turn to give his thoughts on the departure of Tom Brady’s ex-backup. Like the head coach, the offensive coordinator was similarly effusive about how much he enjoyed working with the soon-to-be-26-year-old – and how good he thinks he will be in San Francisco.
“We understand the business side of it, but the human element is that you had a guy in your room that you really enjoyed being around, you coached, that spent a lot of time learning and grasping what you were doing, and you saw him grow and get better and mature and improve through the course of time, and now he’s not here. I wish him nothing but the best,” said McDaniels. “I really, really think a lot of this guy. He’s got a bright future, he’s a great person and I hope he does well for himself out there.”
It’s clear that Tom Brady’s incredible level of play since the drafting of Garoppolo in 2014 made Belichick’s decision as tough as any he’s had to make in his Patriots tenure. Neither Belichick nor McDaniels are typically as complimentary of a player they just traded – in fact, Belichick often shuts questions down with something to the effect of, “I’ll only talk about the players who are here.”
The Patriots’ quest for Brady’s eventual successor will now start from scratch, and it could begin as soon as next year’s draft. It doesn’t sound like Belichick or McDaniels wanted it that way. If their statements are any indication, they felt they already had that guy.