BOSTON (CBS) — We have already learned that the Patriots will be looking for a new starting quarterback in 2021. Now we’re learning that Jimmy Garoppolo may be looking for a new team in 2021.

Could Jimmy G. end up back in Foxboro? Let the speculation continue!

According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the common belief around NFL insiders is that the San Francisco 49ers will move on from Garoppolo this offseason.

“Garoppolo’s injuries certainly complicate the picture. Kyle Shannahan, the coach said, he believes Garoppolo will be the quarterback in 2021, but he says he can’t say it with certainty. Most league insiders believe if there’s a better option, the 49ers will have somebody other than Garoppolo at the start of next season,” Mortensen said on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown.

There will be no shortage of starting quarterbacks in the upcoming NFL Draft and via free agency. So that “better option” could show itself in a number of different ways to San Francisco.

And that could work to New England’s benefit. The Patriots pop up anytime Garoppolo’s future is in question, with a New England reunion always a potential option for the quarterback. Bill Belichick drafted Garoppolo in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and the QB spent three-plus seasons with the Patriots as Tom Brady’s backup.

But the Pats traded Garoppolo to San Francisco for a second-round pick in 2017, and he’s gone on to have mixed levels of success with the 49ers. Injuries have continued to hurt his stock, with Garoppolo starting just 30 games over his four years in San Francisco. He is 22-8 in those starts, completing 68 percent of his passes for 7,352 yards, 46 touchdowns and 26 interceptions. He helped the 49ers reach the Super Bowl in 2019.

The Pats will reportedly part ways with Cam Newton after the 2020 season, so they’ll be in the market for a starting QB. And if the Patriots are in that position, and Garoppolo is looking for a new home, expect the reunion speculation to hit its hottest level yet.

CBSBoston.com Staff