The New England Patriots pulled off one of the biggest trades ahead of the NFL deadline, sending promising backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers and essentially going all-in on Tom Brady playing well into his 40s.
Garoppolo had been the league’s top insurance plan, a promising backup who likely could have taken the starting job with several teams that the Patriots instead were content stashing on the bench for peace of mind should Brady have suffered an injury. The trade left the Patriots with only one quarterback on the roster, sparking speculation as to who Bill Belichick would tap to back up Brady for the remainder of the season.
That led to immediate rumors around the NFL that the New England Patriots might be looking at Colin Kaepernick. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has been at the top of the free agent heap since opting out of his contract at the end of last year, instead watching teams select quaterbacks with lesser skills and flimsier resumes. Proponents of Kaepernick say that he is being blackballed for his national anthem protest, but that could be coming to an end soon.
As USA Today Sports speculated, Kaepernick and the Patriots could be a perfect fit for each other. The report noted that Bill Belichick has never been swayed by popular opinion, instead signing any player that might help the New England Patriots. Case in point was his decision to sign Tim Tebow to the training camp roster in 2013, giving him a chance to prove himself in the preseason after other teams decided that his rabid fan base was not worth the headache.
There would still be other options for the New England Patriots at quarterback, including former Brady backup Brian Hoyer who was released by the San Francisco 49ers when they acquired Garoppolo. Ian Rapoport from the NFL Network noted that Hoyer is a strong option for the Patriots.
But if Bill Belichick decides that Colin Kaepernick is the strongest option at quarterback, he is not likely to be sentimental about bringing back Hoyer and instead go with whoever will help his team the most. Until then, the NFL rumors surrounding Kaepernick will continue to swirl.
[Featured Image by Harry How/Getty Images]