Patriots Have Made Decision on Jimmy Garoppolo’s Potential Return: Report

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The Jimmy Garoppolo returns to New England Patriots stories have been rampant lately. One NFL insider dropped some definitive news on the subject.

ESPN NFL Insider Jordan Schultz made it clear; the Patriots aren’t pursuing Garoppolo. According to Schultz, the cap space isn’t there, and they are committed to Cam Newton as their quarterback in 2021.

This post flies in the face of all of the speculative reports that suggest the San Francisco 49ers’ recent move to trade up to No. 3 in the draft will precipitate a Garoppolo trade or release.

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The Garoppolo return story is one many can’t seem to get enough of in New England, but if Schultz’s report is on point, the romanticized reunion isn’t in the cards.

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What Could the 49ers Be Doing?

San Francisco’s front office folks have bluntly stated Garoppolo is their guy for 2021, but it’s not hard to see the 49ers might have moved up with the intentions of drafting Ohio State’s Justin Fields or North Dakota State’s Trey Lance. 

If the Niners are in on one of those guys, Garoppolo’s days in San Francisco are numbered. That is what prompted the increased talk of a trade. If the Patriots were or are interested, they aren’t likely to be the only team. From there, it might come down to which team gives the Niners the best offer. 

San Francisco could easily stick to their word, start Garoppolo in 2021 while developing their young quarterback to take over the following year. Garoppolo’s dead cap hit for 2021 is only $2.8 million, which only helps fuel the thoughts he might be released if San Francisco can’t find a trade partner.

If the Patriots Don’t Chase Jimmy Garoppolo, What’s the Future Plan at QB?

While Newton should be much improved in 2021 after a year in the system, no COVID diagnosis, and better weapons on offense, he’s still not considered the long-term answer at quarterback in New England. 

If he plays the way some are expecting (those with optimistic takes), Newton could play his way into a solid two or three-year deal elsewhere to finish one of the most distinguished football careers you’ll ever see. 

That said, the Patriots might be looking to move up in the draft, perhaps to No. 5, where the Cincinnati Bengals, who already have a QB, will be selecting.

The No. 5 pick isn’t guaranteed to put the Patriots in a position to get either Fields or Lance, who they may be eyeing. We could see quarterbacks taken 1-4 with Trevor Lawrence headed to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Zach Wilson or Fields going to the New York Jets, the other one going to the Niners at No. 3, and perhaps Lance landing with the Atlanta Falcons at No. 4. 

If that happens, I’d expect the Patriots to stay at No. 15 or to look to position themselves to take Alabama’s, Mac Jones. In any of those cases, the Patriots start Newton in 2021 and draft a rookie QB to succeed him in 2022. 

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