It could be through the draft with the No. 15 overall pick or the Patriots could even trade to find their guy. Throughout this offseason, there’s been heavy speculation that the San Francisco 49ers and Patriots could come to an agreement on a deal to send Jimmy Garoppolo back to Foxborough.
Garoppolo was in line to take over for Tom Brady and he’s proven to be a winner when healthy. But, the health issue is the primary concern and it’s why NBC Sports’ Peter King doesn’t believe the Patriots will make a move for him.
One more thing: I’m not very bullish on the Patriots making a move for Garoppolo this year. At all. When Bill Belichick worked under Bill Parcells with the Giants, I know he had to hear Parcells harp on availability being more important than ability, and I just can’t see Belichick making a big investment (in a pick and in a contract) in a guy who’s missed 23 games in the last three years due to injury. Plus, if New England gets a quarterback, somehow, high in this draft, they’d have salary-manageability and a young prospect, and the yearning for Garoppolo goes away. If the Patriots don’t get a quarterback this year, I could see them pursue Garoppolo on the cheap in 2022. We’ll see.
Garoppolo’s only played a full 16-game slate once in his seven-year career and he’s only played more than six games in a season once during his four years with the 49ers. Newton proved to stay healthy last season while tallying the second-most rushing touchdowns (12) of his career and taking 31 sacks.
It’s still possible the Patriots select a quarterback at No. 15 to follow behind Newton, but the likelihood of a Garoppolo trade is quickly slowing down.