What are the New England Patriots‘ plans at quarterback? Patriots Nation isn’t the only fanbase asking this question about their team.
The Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints, Washington Football Team, and a few others are all still making the final calculations as they prepare to chase their next signal-caller.
You’d assume every team in the market for a quarterback would have a prioritized list of options. According to Patriots insider and Boston Sports Journal writer and owner, Greg Bedard, the Patriots have a list, and former New England quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is at the top of it.
Here is what Bedard said on his podcast.
From what I gather from talking to people this week, over the past week, Jimmy Garoppolo still is far and away their Plan A. That, if they had to draw it up, exactly the optimal situation for the Patriots for this coming season, it’s Jimmy G coming back here. And of course, that’s all dependent on the 49ers doing something.
Here is a video capturing the entire segment:
Bedard envisions the San Francisco 49ers potentially trading for Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, making Garoppolo expendable. Thereby facilitating a trade that would bring the 29-year-old back to New England.
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What Would it Cost the Patriots?
Garoppolo has won when given the opportunity and healthy. He has a 24-8 record as a quarterback, and he’s established a 98.9 passer rating in his NFL career. That said, he has struggled to stay healthy.
Since landing with the 49ers via a trade with the Patriots back in 2017, Garoppolo has missed 33 games, including 10 in 2020. He’s played in all 16 games just once, and that was in 2019 when he helped lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl.
Based on his resume and quarterbacks’ going rate, it would be surprising to see Garoppolo go for anything more than a pair of second-round picks.
The Philadelphia Eagles recently dealt Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts for a third-rounder and a second-round selection that could become a first. Garoppolo’s stock is likely higher than Wentz, but not dramatically. Thus he will garner more in a trade.
Is Garoppolo the Answer?
At 29, it would appear Garoppolo still has some time to perform at a high level. However, in his best season as a pro, he was a little more than a game manager for a team that reached the Super Bowl largely on the strength of the ground game and a stingy defense that ranked eighth overall and No. 1 against the pass. according to Pro Football Reference.
Garoppolo missed throwing for 4,000 yards that season as the team leaned heavily on its three-headed rushing attack with Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, and Matt Breida. The Patriots could offer a similar situation, but there is no George Kittle (85 receptions in 2019), Deebo Samuels (57 receptions), or Emmanuel Sanders (36 receptions).
As it stands, the Patriots don’t have the kinds of weapons on offense or the overall defense the 49ers had in 2019, so it may be difficult for Garoppolo to come close to that level of success.
Furthermore, the possibility of injury is high based on Garoppolo’s track record. It would appear the Patriots have options at quarterback that won’t cost them valuable draft assets and will still put them in a position to be competitive in 2021 while also drafting a quarterback for the future who has more upside than Garoppolo.
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