Bold Trade Proposal Would Land Patriots Jimmy Garoppolo

Getty Jimmy Garoppolo

The San Francisco 49ers have said Jimmy Garoppolo will be their QB in 2021, but speculation on a trade or release persists.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith suggests the Niners deal Garoppolo to the New England Patriots in exchange for Cam Newton. Here is a look at the segment:

Stephen A. proposes a Jimmy G-for-Cam Newton trade | First TakeStephen A. proposes a Jimmy G-for-Cam Newton trade | First Take Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman and Booger McFarland debate whether the San Francisco 49ers should trade or keep Jimmy Garoppolo. #FirstTake #NFL 0:00 Max Kellerman says the 49ers should keep Jimmy Garoppolo. 1:00 Stephen A. Smith wants the 49ers to trade Garoppolo for Cam…2021-03-30T16:32:37Z

It’s a simplistic concept, but the simplicity isn’t what makes this a bit far-fetched.

The Problems With Smith’s Proposed Trade

Smith’s explanation for this trade misses several essential points. Most importantly, it’s as if Smith is utterly unaware of all the money the Patriots spent to shore up the offense and defense. He also neglects to mention how to make this trade fit financially, which has reportedly been the biggest stumbling block in bringing Garoppolo back to New England.

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Smith opened his rant talking up the Patriots-49ers trade that no one seems to want to let go, and then he inserts Newton into the equation.

Not only do you get Jimmy G back, but you give them Cam Newton. I like Cam Newton in San Francisco. I like him with actual targets to throw the ball. We’ve lamented, ‘Does Cam still have it? But nevertheless, I’m saying you put him with weapons, the athletic stud that he is, if you still believe in Cam, there’s no question on the offensive side of the ball, that the San Francisco 49ers, with the play-calling of Kyle Shanahan, is a better option for Cam Newton than Josh McDaniels and Bill Belichick in New England being bereft of weapons.

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The weapons argument isn’t solid.

The Niners have one of, if not the best, tight end in the NFL in George Kittle. However, from there, the passing game options of Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, and Raheem Mostert don’t blow away what the Patriots have built with Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, Nelson Agholar, Kendrick Bourne, and James White. San Francisco may have a slight edge because of Kittle’s brilliance, but we all would all be wise not to underestimate the dual tight-end look the Patriots have assembled.

It’s also important to remember this isn’t just a measurement of passing attacks. We have to look at total offenses. The Patriots’ offensive line appears to have a significantly high ceiling in 2021. With Damien Harris and Sony Michel returning alongside White, and Newton, the Patriots should be in good shape there as well. In short, New England is no longer “bereft of weapons.”

Smith may have a point suggesting Shanahan’s playcalling style might be a better fit for Newton than what Josh McDaniels will deliver in New England.

Some have spoken about how McDaniels’ rigidness in playcalling hindered Newton in 2020. You’d like to think there would be more of a compromise in 2021, but that remains to be seen.

Does Garoppolo Actually Make the Patriots Better?

There appears to be a belief that Garoppolo at QB would make the Patriots a better team. I’m not sure if that’s true. 

According to Jermaine Wiggins of WEEI, there are reports that say Patriots players question whether Garoppolo is tough enough to stay healthy and if they can count on him. When you hear what veterans and captains of the Patriots say about Newton, there is no such trepidation.

Devin McCourty appeared on Good Morning Football on Wednesday, and he raved about Newton’s leadership, work ethic. He even mentioned the less-than-ideal circumstances his QB had to endure.

He’s [Newton] a great leader, and I think that’s what we saw right away with him getting there last year. Really in a year that was very tough with no offseason, no anything, just coming in, I think he was just himself. … We had so many hilarious conversations. Sometimes, it would be three or four guys in it, but the whole half of the locker room would end up in the conversation going back and forth with him and Matthew Slater and Damien Harris. So I’m looking forward to having our full locker room hopefully, without the COVID restrictions as much. But he’s just been a great guy. I think his work ethic and his leadership was great for our offense last year in a year where we needed it.

The entire segment is in the tweet below:

Based on the way the Patriots are currently constructed, it seems like a roster built for Newton and a player with his skill set to succeed.

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