January 24, 2021
NFL Rumors: Jimmy Garoppolo Could Be Headed For A Return To Patriots Amid NFL Quarterback Shuffle

The impending NFL quarterback shuffle could end up bringing Jimmy Garoppolo back to the New England Patriots, some reports suggest.

There appear to be some major changes ahead for a number of teams after Matthew Stafford reportedly asked for a trade away from the Detroit Lions and Deshaun Watson told the Houston Texans that he wanted out. That will likely lead to some shifting around as both are expected to find new homes, and Garoppolo could potentially be on the move as well.

As NESN reported, Stafford's request for a trade could free up Tom Brady's former backup in New England as the 49ers are seen as a top contender to land Stafford. Though San Francisco's coaching staff and front office have remained committed to Garoppolo, some insiders believe that the team would pull the trigger on a deal for Stafford if it's within their grasp, which would free up Garoppolo.

As the NESN report noted, the signal caller's salary means he would likely not be part of a swap for Stafford, instead making him a likely candidate to be cut.

"The former Patriots backup could be included in a hypothetical package for Stafford, but his current contract ($26.2 million salary cap hit in 2021, $27 million in 2022) makes him a less-than-ideal trade candidate. That deal includes just $2.8 million in dead money, however, meaning the Niners can cut him with only a modest financial penalty," the report noted.

"If that happens, reuniting Garoppolo with Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels would be a sensible move for the QB-needy Patriots, who famously traded the now-29-year-old to San Francisco for a second-round pick in 2017."
There had been reports that Belichick was very high on Garoppolo before he was traded. As ESPN reported back in 2018, the Patriots coach had met with team owner Robert Kraft to discuss their roadmap for the future, with Belichick being told that Garoppolo would not be in the team's long-term plans and that they would be trading him. The report claimed that the Patriots' future Hall of Fame coach was "furious and demoralized," but went along with the demand. New England will potentially be looking for a quarterback again, with Cam Newton's contract up after this season and Jarrett Stidham looking shaky during his time behind center last season.

It was not clear if San Francisco would be able to pull off the deal for Stafford that would set the quarterback carousel into motion in the first place. As The Inquisitr reported, there are a number of other teams that are reportedly interested in him, including the Denver Broncos.