A Patriots insider thinks GM Bill Belichick was wrong to trade QB Jimmy Garoppolo back in 2017.
The Patriots being slated to face San Francisco in Week 7 has unsurprisingly reignited debates about Bill Belichick’s decision to trade backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in exchange for a second-round pick back in 2017.
It was admittedly a bold decision putting THAT much faith in a then-40-year-old Tom Brady, but most fans in New England would admit that it proved to be the right call. Though the legendary quarterback’s tension with Belichick and the franchise reportedly intensified in the subsequent three years, the team itself enjoyed tremendous success, winning a Super Bowl and making another.
However, some analysts are still convinced that trading Garoppolo was a mistake. WEEI insider Ryan Hannable just published a lengthy column explaining how the Patriots “went from having two really good quarterbacks to essentially none,” and we couldn’t disagree more.
“The franchise went from having the best situation in the league at the position, to being just like many other teams who have been mocked over the years in these parts for not having its quarterback situation figured out,” wrote Hannable. “And making matters worse, they only have a second-round and a compensatory-pick to show for it.
“The Patriots were set up so well for the future at the most important position, but in a span of three years they went from having two great players to basically none.”
Those quotes right there are just a testament to the local media’s tendency to overreact to one or two bad performances. A few weeks ago, everybody and their mother was signing Cam Newton’s praises. Now, after one off game, if you can even call it that, media members want to write him off as a potential option long-term under center for the Patriots.
It’s also worth noting that Newton was away from the team for several days leading up to Sunday’s fixture against Denver with COVID-19 and only got in one practice worth’s of preparation. Cut him a little bit of slack and maybe don’t dwell on the past? Just an idea.
That brings us to the Jimmy G trade. We simply cannot buy into the notion that trading the former second-round pick was a mistake by Belichick. Did it look like a gaffe last year when he led the 49ers to a 13-3 record in the regular season and eventually the Super Bowl? No doubt, but his lack of a clutch gene was on fully display during Kansas City’s comeback and he ultimately played a huge part in the team blowing a 20-10 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Tell us, was that ever a question with Brady over his final three seasons? Maybe (emphasis on maybe) last year, but his offensive weapons, much like Newton’s this season, were the definition of unreliable. And Garoppolo’s current contract? The Patriots would’ve never paid that price.
Garoppolo had numerous chances to choke out the Chiefs in that Super Bowl, but he came up short, proving to millions of viewers that he’s more of a game manager than an elite gunslinger. Fast forward to present day, and the narrative surrounding him has only worsened. Don’t believe us? Well, it wouldn’t be surprising if San Francisco moved on from him after the 2020 season in favor of a QB who’s capable of making big throws in big moments.
As evidenced by Garoppolo’s 7.4 yards per pass attempt this season, head coach Kyle Shanahan has zero faith in him to accurately throw the ball downfield, which is really a crime when you consider the 49ers’ abundance of dynamic playmakers.
Do the Patriots currently have a long-term answer at QB? Not necessarily, but you’re clowning yourself if you think San Francisco does, and that means Belichick wasn’t wrong to put all of his eggs in Brady’s basket ahead of the 2017 trade deadline.