Some people may have predicted Belichick would have acted like a jealous old girlfriend trying to come to terms with the one that got away, but the trade that split a lot of Patriots fans has worked out pretty well for the Patriots and Jimmy Garoppolo.
It has been three years since Bill Belichick traded Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers, but with Jimmy G about to face his former employer for the first time since 2017, it only makes sense that the trade is becoming a story again.
A lot has transpired since the Patriots gave up what many believed was their future franchise quarterback. ESPN reported a riff between the New England Patriots top brass, claiming that Tom Brady had gone to the Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and forced Bill Belichick to trade away Garoppolo and keep Brady. The Patriots went to two Super Bowls, won one of them, Rob Gronkowski retired, the Patriots got entangled in another alleged cheating scandal, Garoppolo and the 49ers went to the Super Bowl, Kyle Shanahan blew another Super Bowl, Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Gronkowski unretired, was traded to Tompa Bay, the Patriots signed Cam Newton, he caught COVID, the sky fell in New England last week after they lost to the Broncos, and that brings us to now. This week Jimmy Garoppolo will return to Gillette Stadium, he will wear his mask, enter the visitors locker room, take the field with no fans in the stands, and he will face off against the coach who never really wanted to trade him. If I missed anything, please let me know.
Garoppolo was benched two weeks ago after putting up a pitiful performance against the Miami Dolphins. Garoppolo was returning from an injury and definitely showed some rust after delivering a stat line of 7/17 – 17 yds – 0 TDs – 2 INT. He bounced back on Sunday Night Football defeating their divisional rivals the Los Angeles Rams 24-16, and laying down a more respectful game going 23/33 – 268 yds – 3 TDs – 0 INTs.
As the week 7 matchup gets closer, it unsurprising that Bill Belichick is being asked about Garoppolo, and Belichick is still showing his former quarterback a lot of respect.
“Jimmy is a good quarterback,” Belichick said, via Josh Alper of NBC Sports. “He took them to the NFC championship last year — won the NFC championship — so I think he’s certainly been able to have a high level of achievement and accomplishment out there. They signed him to a contract that showed they have confidence in him as their quarterback. I don’t think any of that is all that surprising. I think we all know Jimmy is a good player.”
You can’t necessarily say that Belichick was gushing over Garoppolo, some people may have predicted Belichick would have sat there like a jealous old girlfriend trying to come to terms with the one that got away, but as I pointed out above, the trade that split a lot of Patriots fans has worked out pretty well for the Patriots and Jimmy Garoppolo.
The Patriots went to back to back Super Bowls after Jimmy packed his bags and moved to California. He would have done nothing to help the Patriots and their loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Brady put up Super Bowl records that game, and unless Garoppolo suddenly became a pro bowl cornerback or pass rusher, Garoppolo would have witnessed the loss from the bench. The following season when Garoppolo realistically could have became the Patriots starter, Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Sony Michel, and a much improved defense defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in a second half shootout in the AFC Championship game, and then smothered the Rams high octane offense, and won Super Bowl 43; 13-3.
In between New England’s two Super Bowl appearances, the 49ers made Jimmy Garoppolo the highest paid quarterback in the NFL for a short period of time, and some people thought that TB12 and Jimmy G were on a Super Bowl collision course in 2018, before Garoppolo hurt his knee and was done for the season.
The following season the Patriots were deemed the most overrated 8-0 in the NFL, and it turns out they were right. The Patriots won three games after starting the season undefeated, they lost a first round playoff bye in the final game of the season to Brian Flores and the Miami Dolphins. Former Patriots linebacker now head coach Mike Vrabel brought his Tennessee Titans to Gillette Stadium and dumped the Patriots out of the playoffs in the Wildcard Round. That would also mark Tom Brady’s final game for the New England Patriots. Brady’s twenty-year tenure in New England ended with former Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan intercepting Brady’s pass for a pick six.
On the other side of things, Jimmy Garoppolo returned to the 49ers, he had moments where he looked shaky, but for the most part had a very solid season, won the NFC, and blew out Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game, booking Garoppolo’s third trip to the Super Bowl, but this being his first as the starter. San Francisco were minutes away from winning the championship, but Kyle Allen thought he was still a coach with the Atlanta Falcons, and some bad decision making, and better decision making by Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, the 49ers left as the losers.
During the offseason the Patriots would sign Cam Newton for almost nothing, and Patriots fans had hope that the dynasty will continue on. After testing positive for COVID-19 prior to the Patriots week 4 game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Newton was forced to the sideline. With lack of practice, and lack of preparation time, Newton made his return to the filed last Sunday against the Denver Broncos and things went as bad for him as they did for Garoppolo the week before.
When you break down the entire scenario it’s tough to see why anybody would have any hard feelings now. Belichick, Brady, and Kraft, all got to celebrate another Super Bowl victory. Signing Cam Newton may have secured the Patriots quarterback position for another three to five years. Jimmy Garoppolo gets to start football games for a competitive team, and he gets paid a lot of money to do it. It’s easy to break down that second round and see what Belichick did with it (he did a lot actually), but it’s not the draft pick that will determine how this trade worked out.
Bill Belichick traded Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers October 30, 2017, and on October 21, 2020, four days before the Patriots will take on the 49ers, the only sensible conclusion that anybody could come to is, both the Patriots and Garoppolo were left in better positions after the trade.
Some people may have predicted Belichick would have acted like a jealous old girlfriend trying to come to terms with the one that got away, but the trade that split a lot of Patriots fans has worked out pretty well for the Patriots and Jimmy Garoppolo.Last modified: October 23, 2020