According to a report from Seth Wickersham, the author of “It’s Better to Be Feared,” the New England Patriots could have had a reunion with the San Francisco 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo if they were willing to part ways with a first-round pick.
The Patriots reportedly offered a second-rounder and the 49ers held on to Jimmy G. There are some that believe the Patriots would have had a more successful season if they had completed that trade rather than drafting Mac Jones with the No. 15 pick.
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The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin tweeted this concept, but also noted Garoppolo makes a ton more money than Jones.
For the record, Jones made about $2.8 million in his rookie season on a deal that will pay him $15.8 million over four years. Garoppolo made $26.4 million this season and is scheduled to make $26.9 million in 2022 in the final year of his five-year, $137.5 million dollar deal.
Jimmy G & the 49ers Upset the Dallas Cowboys
In the first playoff game on Sunday, Garoppolo and the 49ers marched into Big D to hand the Dallas Cowboys a 23-17 loss to move on in the postseason. The Niners rode the backs of their running game with 169 yards on the ground–96 from Elijah Mitchell and 72 from Deebo Samuel–and their defense which held Dallas’ offense in check with just 7 points in the first half.
Garoppolo only completed 16 of 25 passes for 172 yards, 0 TDs and a pick. Clearly, he wasn’t spectacular, but he did win, which is more than can be said for the Patriots after they were dismantled 47-17 on Saturday by the Buffalo Bills.
Still, did we see enough from Garoppolo this season–or any other for that matter–to suggest he would have taken the Patriots further than Jones did in 2021?
That seems a bit far-fetched.
Looking Ahead to 2022 for the Patriots
It’s time we put a little respect on Jones’ name and the Patriots’ 2021 season into the proper perspective.
Jones was a rookie who far exceeded the normal expectations for a first-year signal-caller. He threw for 3,801 yards, 22 TDs and just 13 interceptions. Beyond that, he led the Patriots to a 10-win season and back to the postseason. Considering the team missed the playoffs last year, and that he had by far the best rookie campaign of any of the other first-year players under center, 2021 was a massive success.
The arrow is pointing up for Jones. Because there is every reason to look at Jones’ future optimistically, the Patriots are in a good position as well. There are some issues on defense on the second and third level.
The linebackers must get younger and more athletic. The secondary also has to get younger and, quite frankly, more talented at cornerback and free safety. J.C. Jackson needs to be retained and he needs a talented running mate.
As good as Devin McCourty has been for the Patriots throughout his illustrious career, there is room for improvement over the 35-year-old future Patriots Hall-of-Fame inductee.
However, with Jones, Kyle Dugger, Rhamondre Stevenson and Christian Barmore, there is a lot to like about New England’s future. With a few more smart and thoughtful additions to the roster, the Patriots could be in a position to go as far as Volin suspected they could have gone with Garoppolo, or even further.
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