Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

30 Oct 2017

Patriots Deal Garoppolo to 49ers

No, seriously, this is a thing that is happening. After allegedly spending the 2017 offseason turning down offers of first-round picks for their backup quarterback/Brady heir apparent, the Patriots pulled the trigger tonight on a deal to send Garoppolo to San Francisco for the 49ers' second-round pick. It's going to be a very high pick in that round. I have so many questions. Why now and not before the 2017 draft? Have they finally decided that Brady is serious about playing until he's 45, but they didn't think he was serious before? Who do the Patriots sign to be their backup quarterback now? (We all know the identity of the best backup quarterback, by far, who is currently unsigned.) How do the Garoppolo contract negotiations with San Francisco go, and do the 49ers end up giving him the franchise tag for 2018? And what happens now to Kirk Cousins, when everyone figured he was headed for a reunion with Kyle Shanahan? Is Jacksonville in his future? The Jets perhaps?

And hey, who said the NFL trade deadline would be dull?

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 30 Oct 2017

138 comments, Last at 06 Nov 2017, 1:38pm by Richie


by theslothook :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 8:39pm

The timing of this move makes little sense from the 49er's perspective.

Likely even if Garappolo is good, thats a high second round pick.

But what if Jimmy G isn't good? He, like nearly all qbs on bad teams with few starts under his belt is likely to struggle. What should the 49ers do? Not drat a qb? Ride it out with Jimmy G even if they get the first overall pick?

I just feel like Jimmy is in a lose lose situation.

As for NE, shrug - I guess Brady is playing till hes 90.

by BJR :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 6:20am

The 49ers get a nice headstart by acquiring their QB now rather than after the draft. It's almost certain Kyle Shanahan won't be getting fired this off season, but he will be under pressure if they end up 1-15 or the like. I can see why having almost a 'free' 8 weeks to integrate Garropolo now appeals from a coaching point of view.

Otherwise you simply have to assume that Shanahan simply prefers him to any of the prospects coming out this year.

by bigpoppapump :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 10:16am

There's actual NFL film of Jimmy G and he's good and it only costs you a second. Decent QBs in the draft cost high 1st Round pick - witness the 2017 draft.

SF can now spend their 1st round pick (2nd or 3rd over all) on other needs, or - much more likely - trade down and acquire a load of picks from a QB hungry franchise in the 4-8, or even better 8-16 slots.

So it makes sense for SF. Esp if they don't want to trade the likely 1st round pick for Kirk Cousins.

For NE, who knows, but it's Bellichick so best not to question it.

by Richie :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 6:30pm

I have no idea if Garoppolo will be any good or not. But he's thrown fewer than 100 passes in his 4 seasons. The comps since 2000 of guys who threw 75-150 passes with at least 2 starts, and had an ANY/A above 5.00:
Todd Bouman
AJ McCarron
Matt Flynn
Landry Jones
Sage Rosenfels
Kellen Moore

So it's possible to look good in a few starts, but not actually be a good QB.

by theslothook :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 6:43pm

+1 million. When did one and a half games become the minimum standard for which to proclaim QBs worth the risk.

What's more puzzling...we have evidence of what Brady's backups look like out of Ne.

From what I'm reading, there seems to be this view that since Belichik was so reluctant to part with him, he must be something special. That's a lot of faith based logic.

by Noah Arkadia :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 11:00am

Belichik controls the narrative about Belichik, so I wouldn't put any stock in that, either.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 11:12am

Are we even sure Jimmy G is better than Kaepernick?

You can have him for just cash.

by ncuba :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 1:26pm

SF's also pretty much getting a "conditional" pick back, i.e. the compensatory selection in 2019 if Jimmy walks and is signed elsewhere and they don't spend too much themselves (staying on the right side of the formula for that). Could be equivalent of late 3rd so not shabby.

by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 8:42pm

Not understand why b. hoyer is nto part of deal. seems obvious to me he would be going back to Pates

by Bryan Knowles :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 8:50pm

Hoyer was just released by San Francisco. Now he's free to sign with New England for the league minimum, rather than the prorated version of his San Francisco contract. Save those dollars and cents.

by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 8:54pm

not that someone else would want to, but is possiblea naothe team could add Hoyer before Pates get a shot?

by Bryan Knowles :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 8:56pm

Hoyer won't go through waivers (he's a vested vet). So that would entirely be up to Hoyer, and I'm not sure he's going to get a more enticing offer than "backup to Tom Brady" at this point in the season.

by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 8:59pm

thanks. I cant keep trakc fo all these waiver rules in mlb and nfl

by dbostedo :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 11:22pm

Yet you seem to be able to remember things like who made the key block on a 3rd quarter 1st-down run in the 7th game of the year by Clarence Davis in 1976. Strange. :)

by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 6:26pm

think can retian some stuff like tht because I don't remember all the waiver workings. some stuff goes itno memory, tioher stuff leaves

by zenbitz :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 8:50pm

The only think I can consider from the 49ers perspective, is that they have 8 games to find OUT if they need to draft/sign a QB in the off season, or if Garoppolo is worth $20M/year (or whatever he commands)

by justanothersteve :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 12:59am

That's my opinion. If Garoppolo shows enough to be their QB of the future, they don't have to use their likely top ten draft pick on a QB of the future. Otherwise, it's a deep enough class that they might be able to wait until a later round and pick someone who might turn out to be a Wilson, Cousins, or Prescott. If he busts, they're out a second round pick but they can still draft a QB with what is likely a top 3 pick.

by Dave Bernreuther :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 8:51pm

I can only assume that the Pats figured out they wouldn't be able to sign him and it wasn't worth franchising him. In that case, an early 2nd rounder is a good return.

Still, he really fit well. He'd have been able to let them keep winning in that division even post-Brady. And that might be worth keeping, even if Brady sticks around another 3 years. Because even as great as he is, he's declining.

From SF's perspective, I don't get it. Why now? Why that price? Why not wait til free agency when they can keep the pick? Why bother trying to improve mid-season when you're 0-8?

Also, why Garoppolo? He's not the best system fit. At all.

by RickD :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 9:54pm

People have talked about franchising him, but I never thought that was a serious option. The franchise tag would give him a salary over $21 million. That's an insane amount of money to give a QB who isn't established as at least a Pro Bowl level player. I suspect Belichick has been quietly trying to deal Jimmy all season and finally the 49ers either met his price or gave him the best deal he thought he would get.

He should be the starter almost immediately in SF. Kyle Shanahan will be a good coach for him to work with. He's done a good job with Kirk Cousins and Matt Ryan, and even got RGIII's best season out of him.

Why should SF not wait? Free agency is a crap shoot. If they trade for him now he'll get a half year with Shanahan and will be very likely to stay with the franchise.

Redskins fans should be happy, as this will kill the Cousins-to-SF rumors.

by Dave Bernreuther :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 1:28pm

That's an insane amount of money to give a QB who isn't established as at least a Pro Bowl level player.

Right, but then again they're also paying Brady pennies on the dollar.

Still, it's not a sound decision, and that's a franchise that doesn't make unsound decisions.

(Such as, for instance, tagging Kirk Cousins twice.)

by Richie :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 6:33pm

Is Brady such a team guy, that he'd be cool being the second-highest paid QB on the team?

by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 11:37pm

Brady has been taking less money than he could for a decade now - I don't think he'd care.

by dryheat :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 7:33am

His wife would probably have to pick up a few more dinner checks is all.

by Richie :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 2:46pm

Yeah, but he's never taken less than his own backup.

by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 9:31am

" He'd have been able to let them keep winning in that division even post-Brady"

They'll win 10+ games a year with anybody at QB. The crash is going to come when Belichick retires, not Brady.

JG is 25 - there's no way he's gonna continue to hang around for another 3 years behind Brady - he was either going to get a long term deal to start, or get traded.

On SF's side - they've got 8 games to decide whether JG is the quarterback of the future, and whether or not they want to give him $150m, or use the a high first rounder on a QB. That's worth a high second round pick. If they wait until FA, they're going to spend a ton of money on an unknown product.

Garappolo may not be a perfect system fit, but he's far and away the best QB available aside from Cousins.

by tballgame :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 10:56am

From SF's perspective,

1. They could extend him now and count some of his money against this year's cap.
2. They can use the franchise tag to leverage a deal rather than trying to openly compete with better situations (Jacksonville, Arizona, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Denver, etc.)

This trade has nothing to do with this season. It has to do with leverage.

by Dave Bernreuther :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 1:33pm

I think that the next eight games will do a lot to show us just which side has the leverage. If he's not that good, it's hardly leverage for the team to have to pay him 21 million (or whatever it is).

Item #1 there makes a ton of sense, though, especially if they have the space for it. And I agree that a 2nd for a more known quantity is better than a high first for an unknown. If he and Shanahan blend together well and win, that's a steal.

I do think this has to mean that the Pats felt backed into a corner though. There's no question they hoped to retain him, and it's been documented that Belichick did kind of hope to go and win without Brady too.

by PaddyPat :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 8:54pm

It makes zero sense to me too. Jimmy G. seemed like a very natural heir apparent to Brady, and now there's no security at all behind a 40 year-old quarterback on a team with a leaky offensive line. The second rounder is likely to be a nice pick, and the Pats need draft depth after the fallout of deflategate, but this seems like a very un-Belichick move. They waited until the market was weak and definitely lost value... What's the plan now when Brady gets injured in 2-3 weeks? What if Brady crumbles harder this December than he did down the stretch last year? If Jimmy G. was going to be traded, why trade Brissett? Makes no sense at all...

by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 9:03pm

both trades surprirsed base d on when happened. actuallyt like Brissett and thought it would've made sense for Pates to keep him (younger, further from frer agency) and trade Garoppolo. now have traded both.

as for Garoppolo was impressed when saw him play in college. granted, ti was 2x. not sure what eh will be in NFL. seems fragile but throws pretty good.

by RickD :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 9:57pm

Don't forget that Garoppolo was himself a 2nd round pick. So getting a very high 2nd round pick will provide the Pats with enough value to either get a similar QB or a player of equal value.

This is probably the best Belichick could get. He didn't want to trade Jimmy for a long time because he's convinced that Garoppolo should be worth at least a 1st rounder. While I agree with that sentiment, that doesn't matter if nobody will pay the price. And now we're at the trade deadline, so he has to move him or lose all the trade value.

by mehllageman56 :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 11:07pm

Honestly, I think Baker Mayfield is a better prospect than Garoppolo, and he might get drafted in the third or later. But then I liked Brett Hundley and Geno Smith, so what the hell do I know.

The other thing is, do they sign Kaepernick now?

by tballgame :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 10:51am

They kept insurance for the preseason plus 8 weeks of the regular season. If Brady hit the wall that Manning hit (he went from league leading to benched very fast in Denver) or was injured during the first half of this year, Jimmy G would have kept them afloat. Their defense has performed below expectations. They are not winning the Super Bowl without Brady and they are not keeping both players next year. This was their last chance to get anything more than a late 3rd round pick (compensatory) for him.

Brissett was traded because he was not part of the future. When Belichek knows, he moves on. That was unrelated to this move.

by Eddo :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 12:00pm

In Audibles, there was a thread showing how Manning actually hit his wall in the second half of a season (his AY/A through week 8 in 2014 was better than Brady's has been this year).

by Kulko :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 2:22pm

But the current season shows that there will be no denver defense be around to carry JG to the Superbowl if that happens.

So now the chances of Brady having a good year are significantly higher.
The chances of winning the SB with 70% Brady are significantly lower.
Both facts reduce JGs insurance value.

Therefore the trigger was pulled. Wouldnt have done it,but itseems defensible.

by techvet :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 9:00pm

Look for any QBs on practice squads. Kellen Moore, make sure your phone is not in silent mode.

by GwillyGecko :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 9:07pm

the only way this even remotely makes sense is if belichick was absolutely convinced that garappolo would not settle for anything less than top-10 qb money, would hold out if tagged, and is not concerned about bradys health. hell, this doesnt even help them this year unless they make another trade before the deadline.

im a bills fan and im thrilled new england traded the second best qb in the division for a 30s-something pick in '18.

also people forget that peyton was absolutely tearing it up in 2014 during the first 8 games before father time kicked in. not saying its gonna happen to brady this year, after all peyton had the nerve damage and brady doesnt, but peyton went from all pro to bad almost overnight in 2014. and continued to suck into 2015, with the exception of the 4th quarter of the div playoff win over pittsburgh and first two quarters of afc championship game win over new england.

by GwillyGecko :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 9:14pm

one sinister thought--BB doesnt want a qb controversy in the event brady ages this year and the team is deep in the playoffs

by The Ninjalectual :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:09pm

I'm pretty sure "qb contorversies" are media creations not on the list of things Belichick cares about

by jtr :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 10:59am

100% agree. Well-run organizations do not make personnel decisions based on noise from the fans and media. You'd be very foolish to want less QB talent on your roster just to keep the fans quiet.

by ncuba :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 9:36pm

Bill might have decided that this year the team wasn't good enough to contend for SB without high level play from Brady, i.e. if Brady hurt or falls off to the point he needs replacing then Jimmy G might win them a game or two more than say Hoyer would but would give them only a minuscule marginal improvement to SB odds (one that's less than the tiny marginal improvement to future SB odds from that SF pick).

And then after this year yeah there's a contract situation.

by RickD :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 9:59pm

Somebody would have signed Garoppolo for starter's money. Half the NFL is starting crappy QBs right now. BB wasn't going to pay a backup QB starter's money. And Brady has not shown any signs of decline this season, so the choice is made.

by lokiwi :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:32pm

I have no idea what information you could possibly be basing an opinion that Garoppolo is better than Tyrod on.

by GwillyGecko :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 12:10am

based on what i saw from jimmy g when he started in sept 2016, and based on what ive seen watching all of the 2015-17 bills games, i honestly think jimmy g is the superior qb, but tyrod has improved this year.

it's too bad he missed a wide open zay jones in week 2, bc the bills could've stolen a win from carolina and be 6-1 right now!

the bills will go as far as tyrod takes them, and you never know what kind of fluke could happen in a single elimination tournament in january.

by mehllageman56 :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 12:30pm

Garoppolo played a game and a half before getting knocked out by a decent hit (nothing like the one Suh and Wake had on Bryce Petty last year). Garoppolo has proven that he's accurate and mobile, not that he can last more than 3 games in this league.

by zenbitz :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 5:25pm

well he'll have a chance to prove it with the Niners! Although maybe it will have to wait until they get their starting tackles back.

by D2K :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 9:24pm

If you're a Bills fan you should know that the 2nd best QB in the division is TyGod TayLord. Seriously though, it's Taylor.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 12:15pm

I don't think it's a stretch to say "better than Josh McCown or the Jay Cutler/Matt Moore pupu platter" isn't exactly a ringing endorsement.

by PatsFan :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 9:35pm

Don't understand this at all, especially with the way Brady is getting pounded this year.

JG would allow the team to be competitive if Brady is knocked out for part of a game or for several weeks or even the season. Not nearly as good as they'd be with Brady, but at least competitive.

Now they're willing to throw the season away if Brady misses more than a couple of games.


by Mash Wilson :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 9:49pm

I think #12 and #16 pretty much got it right:

1. Garoppolo has indicated to the Patriots that he is not going to re-sign with them and will seek a starting gig elsewhere.

2. Belichick has decided that in the event Brady gets hurt, the team isn't good enough to reach the Super Bowl with Garoppolo this year.

3. Therefore, trading Garoppolo to the highest bidder right now is the only sensible move.

From the 49ers perspective, it must be a combination of 49ers management (a) REALLY liking Garoppolo and (b) already being concerned about their own job security if the team ends up 1-15.

by RickD :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:06pm

Garoppolo is probably a cheaper option for the 49ers than any free agent starter (*cough*, Cousins) would be, and he's certainly better than any new draftee would be. Why does SF do this? It solves their QB issue. Browns' logic notwithstanding, that should be a priority for any struggling franchise.

Jimmy G wasn't ever going to take the Pats to the Super Bowl. Remember that the 2008 squad was essentially the same as the 16-0 2007 squad, and Matt Cassel couldn't make the playoffs with them. While I think Jimmy is better than Matt, this year's squad is nowhere near the talent level of the 2007-8 squad, esp. on defense.

by Bryan Knowles :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:18pm

I wouldn't say he's "certainly" better. A 94-attempt sample size isn't exactly proof positive of anything, no matter how good that sample size actually is. That being said, you can make an argument for Garoppolo over anyone we think is coming out, and the 49ers may not get first dibs there anyhoo (see Cleveland). Garoppolo puts the plan in place.

It DOES free up the 49ers to use resources in other places -- more cap space to sign free agents, the first-round pick to draft an edge rusher or shutdown corner, etc.

by theslothook :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:40pm

The team is winless and mostly injured. If they end up with the 2nd pick in the draft or even the third, do they again resist the urge to draft a high first rounder?

by Bryan Knowles :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:44pm

Unless Garoppolo figuratively (or literally) explodes in the next five months, I can't imagine the 49ers use their first round pick on a quarterback now. Way too many other needs.

They may well USE that high pick on someone rather than trade down, but Garoppolo's the plan now for Shanahan.

by mehllageman56 :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 11:12pm

Really, the Niners pass on Josh Rosen because they have a guy who took 7 sacks in a preseason game? As a Jets fan, I hope you're right, but my money's on the guy playing with no one in UCLA who got them a win after being 34 points down than Jimmy G.

by Alternator :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 5:35pm

Yes, in a heartbeat, because he's the guy who played pretty well against the Cardinals and then wrecked the Dolphins for a half. If the 49ers have a shot at Rosen, then by far the best decision is to trade down and grab a haul of picks to fix their team.

Based on existing performance, it's entirely reasonable to expect Jimmy to perform as at least an acceptable starter next year, and that's with Shanny's offense having a reputation for needing a full year before the QB is really comfortable. A reasonable starter plus strong prospects for improvement plus a boatload of picks is worth more than rolling the dice on a rookie.

by theslothook :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 5:57pm

One and a half games is enough to "reasonably" expect something?

Ive seen plenty of qbs who are now unemployed have more than a season worth of good games.

by Alternator :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 11:10pm

It's far more reasonable than trading away an early-30s pick for seven games of a QB that, even if he plays well, you'd immediately be looking to replace.

by theslothook :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 11:23pm

But isn't that what Jimmy G is getting? And btw, I never suggested the 49ers use that pick on a qb a la Cleveland.

by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 10:05am

"One and a half games is enough to "reasonably" expect something?"

Its a lot more than you get when you draft a player. Any risk argument is more true about a drafted player than it is about Garappalo.

by Noah Arkadia :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 11:05am

For the record, the Jets hung onto Geno Smith for an extra year largely because of how he dismantled the Dolphins in the last game on the season. Josh McCown has looked great against them twice this year. And unless memory fails, Brisset also played well against them after Jimmy G went down. You do not want to make QB decisions based on how a QB looks in a game against the Dolphins.

by lokiwi :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:31pm

Is he really cheaper? A second round pick plus you've got to pay him free agent money after 8 games. If they tag him and pay him $21m next year, that's, what, $4m cheaper than Cousins per year cost? Or he's bad this year and they sign him for significantly less, which isn't exactly a steal of a deal either.

by JimZipCode :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 2:58am

> Remember that the 2008 squad was essentially the same as the 16-0 2007 squad,
> and Matt Cassel couldn't make the playoffs with them.

Technically true I guess, but remember the Pats and Ravens finished tied that season, Ravens took the playoff spot on a tiebreaker. Cassel's Pats won 11 games, and that's usually enough for the playoffs.

by sbond101 :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:12pm

Seconded (or maybe 4thed depending on how you look at it). I also think BB really believed Jimmy G was worth a high 1st, but found other clubs didn't share his appraisal of the situation. I think that's why it didn't get done until the choice was between a high 2nd or a compensation pick.

by JimZipCode :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 3:01am

> ...49ers management (a) REALLY liking Garoppolo ...

I saw a report on ESPN, from Jeff Darlington, saying that Shanahan evaluated all the QBs in the 2014 class when he was with the Browns, prior to them taking – Johnny Football – and in his rankings, David Carr was #1 and Jimmy G was #2. So yeah, the Niners HC has evidently liked Garoppolo for a while.

Tanier wrote up Garappolo's two starts this offseason, said very positive things about his play:

by PatsFan :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:16pm

Schefter says Hoyer was originally in the trade but NE wanted him out of the trade so it wouldn't cancel the comp pick for losing Bennett. SF has released Hoyer.

by dryheat :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 7:33am

That sounds weird...I've never known trades to be a part of comp pick calculations...just FA defections.

It would make more sense that Belichick wouldn't want to inherit his contract. I would bet that a stipulation of the trade was a wink/nod that the 49ers would release Hoyer after.

by Digit :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 2:02pm

I think because Hoyer was signed as a free agent for this year, the team acquiring his contract in a trade would also have that count against -them- in the comp pick calculation at the end of the year, assuming the player wasn't released during the course of the year.

The reason:

Whereas, the level of compensation (i.e., the round and selection number within the round) that a Club may receive for each CFA [Compensatory Free Agent] lost is based upon a weighted combination of the CFA’s “average yearly compensation”, postseason honors and playtime with the new Club, ranked against all players in the League who are on rosters at the end of the season.


by CaffeineMan :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 12:28am

I've read speculation that the Pats are going to flip the pick for a player this year. Motivation is that Belichick looked at the current roster with all the injuries and is trying to shore it up to keep Super Bowl hopes alive this season.

by PatsFan :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 1:29am

SI's Breer claims NE was willing to offer JG starter money to ride the pine a little longer and then take over:

Know this—the Patriots tried.

They knew what they had with their sweetheart of a quarterback situation, with the greatest of all time as their starter and a 25-year-old star-in-waiting behind him, and they wanted to keep it going. They were willing to pay to make it happen. They were willing to wait on him to close the deal.

But late on Monday night, the Patriots finally gave up hope, because they couldn’t give Jimmy Garoppolo what he really wanted: playing time.

As I understand it, the Patriots put potential solutions in front of Garoppolo in the spring and summer to try to extend their window to pass him the torch that Tom Brady has carried for the last 17 seasons. It would have cost them a lot, but they were willing to carry two starting quarterback contracts on their books to do it. Garoppolo, however, made it clear he that want to be a starter, not just a guy paid like one.


by JimZipCode :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 2:57am

A lot of the write-ups have it that Belichick played it all wrong, came away with a second when he could have had a first or more this past offseason, etc.

I dunno, maybe. I have a hard time unquestioningly accepting the idea that Belichick screwed up. By doing the trade now, he did get half a season of injury insurance for Brady. That's something. And he still cashed in the ~34th pick in the draft.

by dryheat :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 7:37am

And those first round picks have never been actually determined. It was all scuttlebutt that BB wanted "multiple 1st rounders". I don't buy that. Possibly leaked by a team who wanted Garoppolo, so they could explain to fans/owners why their QB situation wasn't improved.

Remember, right after Cassel (and Vrabel)were traded for pick 34, all of the sudden all these GMs were saying that they would have offered more. Belichick said that it never happened, that pick 34 was their best offer.

by Yu Narukami :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 6:04am

I would say that this is a pretty pretty good deal for a guy with six quarters of (above-average) production and 9 weeks left in the contract.

So much for BB always talking about the importance of having a good backup QB in the roster, btw.

by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 9:38am

Backup quarterbacks are important. So is the 33rd-36th pick in the draft. You can value multiple things.

by nat :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 6:56am

Seems like a good deal all around. 49ers get the inside track on Garoppolo's future. Garoppolo gets the playing time he craves. Patriots got the use of Garoppolo for half the season and still got a fairly high draft pick for him.

They're screwed if Brady gets hurt for the playoffs. But that was already true. They're only where they are because Brady is having an MVP-level season.

I am sorry to see Garoppolo go, though. Perhaps he'll get franchised next year if he and SF don't reach agreement on a long term contract. If that happens, he'll get paid by somebody soon after that. And guess who will be in the market for a QB in a few years?

by Led :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 10:03am

I agree it's a good deal for both teams. But it's somewhat risky for Handsome Jim. He was going to bet a big contract from somebody at the end of the year. Now he PROBABLY will no matter what, but that's not guaranteed if he plays particularly crappy. And it's not like SF is a great place to show off what you can do for 8 weeks. If you asked Garappolo I'm sure he'd say he wants to play -- any competitor would. But I wouldn't be surprised if there were a little part of him that would prefer coasting to the finish line.

by Anon Ymous :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 10:10am

NE made him significant offers and he turned them down because starting was more important than getting starter-money to hold a clipboard.

by nat :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 10:49am

It's risky for Garoppolo. But it's the risk he demanded. I can respect that.

This is standard operating procedure for Belichick. He seldom forces an unhappy player to stay on the team for very long. That includes players who say they'll only be happy with (a) a lot more money or (b) a lot more playing time or (c) a larger role while on the field.

For players who are bluffing to get a bigger contract, that means calling their bluff. For players who are genuinely unhappy, that means treating them with respect and giving them a chance to learn both what they had with the Patriots and what they can actually get elsewhere.

Some players thrive elsewhere. Some players burn out elsewhere. Some players rejoin the Patriots in some future season, older and wiser.

It's a good system. In both meanings of "good".

by Cheesehead_Canuck :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 9:18am

Remember that the 2008 squad was essentially the same as the 16-0 2007 squad, and Matt Cassel couldn't make the playoffs with them.
For what it's worth he went 11-5. Most years that's a playoff berth, or even a division title and a 2 or 3 seed sometimes.

by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 9:42am

"Remember that the 2008 squad was essentially the same as the 16-0 2007 squad"

This comment is nonsense - Cassel and JG are different people. The argument that they were worse under Cassel than Brady is irrelevant.

by theslothook :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 10:34am

I would say Matt Cassel looked more like a sure thing than Jimmy G does
Remember, the 2nd half pats led the league in pass dvoa.

Only now does it seem like we all knew Matt was a mirage the whole time.

by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 1:09pm

"Only now does it seem like we all knew Matt was a mirage the whole time."

We know that Cassel didn't work for the Chiefs. We don't know much other than that. In a different timeline where Cassel stays with the Pats, and Brady never recovers from the knee injury, I wouldn't be surprised to see him be pretty good.

Remember - Cassel was bad in KC, but both the guys who he played for were terrible head coaches.

by Noah Arkadia :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 3:34pm

We know Cassel hasn't worked for anybody. I mean, we know Cassel is garbage anywhere except New England. The point is the value these backup NED QBs have to the other teams in the league that keep trading for them.

by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 5:08pm

" The point is the value these backup NED QBs have to the other teams in the league that keep trading for them"

This sentence really needs to be reworded.

Separating quarterback play from line play, receiver play, coaching, and game planning is all but impossible at everything but the furthest extremes.

We know Brady and Manning and Brees and Favre were really friggen good. We know JaMarcus Russel was really friggen bad. Between those, there's a lot of gray area because factors outside the quarterback's control make a huge difference - I can't even ballpark how big error bars on QBs should be - but the majority of QBs in the league would fall between each other's error bars.

According to DVOA, Cassel was slightly above average in 2008 (+1.1), significantly below average in 2009 (-29.3), above average in 2010 (+8.4), and then terrible again in 2011 (-26%) and then got hurt a bunch. He was roughly league average in his first year in MIN, and then lost his spot/got hurt/whatever.

Alex Smith's last couple of years with SF, and first couple with KC he sat around -10% DVOA, and then as Andy Reid rebuilt the team, he got better results - and moved up to around +10%, and is at +30% this year - that's mostly coaching and supporting cast. I think Alex Smith is probably a better quarterback than Cassel, but I think its a matter of degree, and not a categorical improvement.

The things that impact quarterback performance outside quarterback talent are HUGE.

by mehllageman56 :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 12:37pm

It's not irrelevant, and the thing to remind yourself is that the current Patriots defense isn't anywhere near as good as the 2008 version. Yes, they went 11-5 with Cassel, they were 16-0 the year before, but the important point to come away from that is last year's team went 14-2, add 5 losses to that it's 9-7 and not even a given they win the division. The same holds true for next year, and honestly, I don't think Garoppolo would have changed much of that logic. The Pats should have held onto Brissett, but they'll still draft Brady's replacement next year, and next year is a good year to draft a quarterback.

by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 1:13pm

Again, its absolutely irrelevant - there's no reason to assume that Cassel and JG have the same, or even similar talent levels. Cassel's DVOA for his year starting for the Patriots was 1.1%. JG's (in limited sample) was 44%. The fact that they're both not Brady doesn't make them the same thing.

by andrew :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 9:59am

ALso - Ajayi to Eagles, which is kind of scary.

by Led :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 10:04am

Ye gads. Scary, indeed.

by JMM :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 10:26am

Does Jimmy G sign a new contract or play a year (or two) under the franchise tag then go on the open market?

Do the Pats sign Hoyer or pick up Kaepernick?

Questions, questions, questions....

by nat :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 4:20pm

It appears they signed Hoyer.


Answers, answers, answers...

by theslothook :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 10:37am

I'm a bit surprised at all positive thoughts of the trade from the Niners perspective.

People are even jumping to contract extension talks.

The Texans were pilloried when they signed Osweiler to a big contract. Note the similarities...another toolsy 2nd rounder riding the pine behind a hall of fame qb with several starts under his belt.

I mean...what are people expecting from Jimmy G? The Niners are terrible and he has little experience. I'm not expecting him to do much at this point in his career. Again, if they end up with a chance at a franchise qb in the draft, are they really going to pass up the chance? Should they, especially if Jimmy G by virtue of inexperience looks inexperienced???

by Noah Arkadia :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 11:54am

All I know is if Garoppolo had been drafted by anyone else and had been riding the bench, nobody would care about him. Conversely, anyone riding the bench behind Brady is sure to draw a lot of interest. There was Mallet and Cassel before him. Even Brisset.

by zenbitz :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 12:04pm

I think the deal looks good from the Niners perspective because they DON'T have to extend him without a 8 (really 7, no one thinks he's playing this week) tryout.

by Dan :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 3:57pm

1. Garoppolo has looked better on the field than Osweiler did.

2. The Broncos let Osweiler go elsewhere after Manning was done, which was a bad sign for what they thought of Osweiler. The Patriots are letting Garoppolo go while Brady is still lighting it up, which is consistent with them liking Garoppolo a lot.

3. The Texans gave Osweiler $37M guaranteed. So far, the Niners have only given up an early 2nd round pick.

by theslothook :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 6:01pm

1) one and a half games is nothing. Matt Flynn threw 6 tds in one game too.

2) elway made a significant offer to Oz. He rejected it and the Texans upped the offer.

3) bad teams shouldn't be tossing away draft picks, especially high 2nd rounders.

by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 11:42pm

"3) bad teams shouldn't be tossing away draft picks, especially high 2nd rounders."

And yet you think spending the first pick on a guy who has never played an NFL snap is a wise decision.

There's a more than 50/50 chance that the 1st pick in the draft never has a stretch of 6 quarters as good as JG had in his career. Rosen is more likely to be Jamarcus Russel than he is Peyton Manning (because busts happen a lot more than Manning). JG is very unlikely to be Russel at this point.

by LyleNM :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 12:01am

And yet you think spending the first pick on a guy who has never played an NFL snap is a wise decision.

Pretty sure that all of the picks are on guys who have never played an NFL snap.

by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 10:03am

Of course they are - but the assumption he's making is that he knows more about a guy who HAS NEVER PLAYED IN THE NFL, than a guy who HAS PLAYED IN THE NFL.

by nat :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 10:37am

You're obviously right that even the limited data we have on Garoppolo makes him more likely to succeed in the NFL than even a high draft pick QB.

A key difference is that with Garoppolo you have just 8 games to watch him play and develop before you have to decide on a high cost contract.

That makes it a little less clear cut whether you should prefer JG or a draft pick. I'd still go with JG. I'd just lean towards a shorter contract to limit the risk in case he turns into a low-end starter or a back up instead of what we hope or expect.

by jtr :: Thu, 11/02/2017 - 8:06am

I think this argument severely understates the value of five years of cost-controlled QB play that comes from drafting your own QB. Eight games from now, the Niners will have to win a bidding war over a guy that they JUST sunk a high draft pick into. Based on the recent Glennon and Osweiler contracts, they are going to have to throw a hell of a lot of money at this guy if he shows any signs of life at all over the rest of this season. Hell, Osweiler was coming off of a negative-DVOA season when Houston threw a $72M contract at him.

by Noah Arkadia :: Thu, 11/02/2017 - 10:37am

And evaluation. Some teams spend years on QBs and still aren't quite sure what they've got in them. The 49ers get eight games and an all or nothing bid to make at the end.

by Richie :: Thu, 11/02/2017 - 1:33pm

..and if he shows no signs of life, they'll probably let him go. Which means throwing away a 2nd round pick on a team desperate for talent.

by nat :: Thu, 11/02/2017 - 2:16pm

Would you rather waste a high first round draft pick on a QB who shows no sign of life? Of course not.

That's the equivalent risk of trying to draft a QB instead. And, since you have more data on Garoppolo than any potential draft pick, it's a bit more likely to happen for the draft pick.

If you're going to do this kind of comparison, you have to accept that there are risks with either choice. It's no good to compare the worst case result for one choice to the best or even average result for the other.

by theslothook :: Thu, 11/02/2017 - 2:59pm

A lot depends on the weight of your priors. I think the "evidence" of Jimmy G is being way oversold here. 1 and a half starts on a Patriots offense coached by BB who has a history of making marginal talents look great(not speaking of Brady here) vs a highly regarded qb prospect at the top of the draft.

That's the thing. A very high qb prospect could be many things, but expected mean of that player is much higher than a 2nd rounder(which is what Jimmy G was). There is a reason teams trade 3 first rounders for qbs at the top of the draft and no more than a high 2nd for a player like Jimmy G.

And this is still ignoring the cost structure. Even after 8 starts, how many of us will be convinced about what he is by seasons end? How many qbs has it taken multiple years to figure out whether they are truly good or not? But if he's even half decent, he will be demanding huge money and then what do you do? Sometimes you get a great player, sometimes you get Osweiler.

by Richie :: Thu, 11/02/2017 - 3:31pm

Ignoring contracts, I think "a second for Jimmy Garoppolo" vs "top 2 pick for Rosen/Darnold/??" is a close call. (Though now I'm hearing that Darnold may not come out?)

But when you add the contract situation in, I think it makes Garoppolo the riskier move.

Now we have 3 possibilities going forward:

1) Jimmy Garoppolo plays well, and is clearly capable of being the 49ers' QB going forward. Then it's an easy decision for the 49ers to extend his contract or franchise him, and this trade was a success.

2) Jimmy Garoppolo plays so poorly, that the 49ers don't see him as the answer. They let him walk and wasted a second round pick.

3) Jimmy Garoppolo plays somewhere between the two, and it's unclear whether he is really a starting NFL QB, and the poor surrounding cast makes his performance even tougher to evaluate. What do they do?

I think #1 is unlikely, just because he's coming to a team mid-season, and the team is already bad. It will be tough for him to clearly be the guy.

#3 is probably the most likely situation, and probably the worst one. It means they'll have to commit another year to Garoppolo at an expensive price (either franchise tag, or a multi-year contract) to find out if he can play. If he is anything better than terrible, they probably keep him next year.

I think Garoppolo is probably good enough to avoid #2, but I'm not positive about it. At least with #2, the 49ers don't hurt their salary cap, but they wasted a pick. Even if #2 happens, do the 49ers have the guts to admit they made a mistake and just walk away?

I'm fascinated to see how this plays out.

by jtr :: Thu, 11/02/2017 - 4:58pm

The surrounding team is so bad and midseason scheme changes are so hard that the team isn't going to be able to write him off unless he goes full Manziel. So #3 is by far the most likely scenario. Then they find themselves in the unfortunate game that Washington played with Cousins, where they either have to throw a huge deal at someone they're not totally sold on, let the guy walk and get nothing in return, or franchise him and play the same game next year but with higher dollar values. There isn't really a good answer in there.

by sbond101 :: Thu, 11/02/2017 - 5:02pm

I think I have one of the more positive views of Jimmy G. out there in that after watching his time with the Pats I think he is an above-average starting NFL QB. However, I think the probability of #3 being the outcome is much higher than anyone involved might like to admit; QB's that don't have HOF caliber talent AND a lot of control/respect from the players/coaches forming the offense are deeply dependent on the quality of the situation around them. Good QB's dropped into bad situations very frequently look awful (consider the up & down careers of Joe Flacco, Alex Smith, Jae Cutler, Carson Palmer, Mark Sanchez, & Jason Campbell as examples of how middling-good QB's do with varying quality of team play). Jimmy G. is going to an unabashedly terrible team, that would do well to win one or two games in what's left of this year. There is a very reasonable chance that he A) get hurt trying to play "hero QB"; B) makes "career decisions" in the pocket and looks like a check-down artist; C) generally looks awful due to poor surrounding cast (like 2013 Brady in the first 5 games).

I just think basing an analysis on 8 games playing for a terrible team that looks like it's quit, with a pending mega-contract is a recipe for potential disaster. Ironically this impending doom might cause him to get a more reasonable contract after the 8 games play out (rather than the huge contract a desperate team was likely to throw at him if he hadn't been traded).

by Richie :: Thu, 11/02/2017 - 5:52pm

Curious: You named Flacco, Cutler and others. Who would you compare Garoppolo's upside to?

by sbond101 :: Thu, 11/02/2017 - 7:26pm

I would compare Jimmy G to Matt Hasselbeck; There both well rounded, have above average pocket presence without much athleticism outside the pocket, they are both possessed of above average but not elite accuracy and arm strength and throw with some anticipation, neither can/could make up for poor offensive line play either with their legs or exceptional anticipation. Jimmy G. could have excelled with the Pats (or another organization with a decent roster and very good coaching structure, and even become a star with espn-like fans. However I don't think he has a chance to not suck on a franchise like the current Browns/49ers/colts, especially without an offseason in the system, to do that I think a QB needs to be on the level of a future HOFer.

**The caveat here is that I havn't watched much of the 49ers this season, and am simply assuming there level of suck based on what I've read/stats.

by theslothook :: Thu, 11/02/2017 - 10:18pm

No offense, but I don't think anyone can say with 1.5 games what kind of player he is. Even 8 games isn't enough, short of him doing Deshaun Watson like stuff.

by sbond101 :: Thu, 11/02/2017 - 10:49pm

That's fair; I've watched basically every game-snap he's taken (including all the pre-season stuff), and that causes me to think I've got a better idea than just assessing the 1 1/2 games. I freely admit watching the pre-season can cause you to over-rate players that "have all the tools" because of the lack of game-planning. Anyways, it's what I think, for better or worse.

by theslothook :: Fri, 11/03/2017 - 5:03am

Those are fair points. I didn't watch Jimmy G closely enough, so I will defer to you on that. I'm talking strictly from a probability standpoint.

Do remember, this website wrote a whole article on how unlikely Matt Flynn was to being a bust.

In fact, around that time there was a Packers poster who proclaimed the Packers the NFLs next dynasty and that the Packers had unlocked a new football reality that everyone would emulate but fail to duplicate. Matt Flynn's 6 tds were meant to be the ultimate display of their godliness.

by nat :: Fri, 11/03/2017 - 8:15am

I'll see your Matt Flynn and raise you a Ryan Leaf.

by Richie :: Fri, 11/03/2017 - 12:49pm

Why? What do those players have in common?

by nat :: Fri, 11/03/2017 - 1:54pm

Flynn was a great QB's highly regarded backup with a small but stellar starting track record.

Ryan Leaf was a top 2 QB pick, widely expected to light up the NFL with his awesomeness.

That's almost precisely the choice that the 49ers faced with the Garoppolo trade.

Flynn turned into a disappointment, and left the league after a few years.

Leaf stunk up the league for two seasons plus a few games. Then he was gone. His failure is legendary. He's a "program ambassador" for a chain of "recovery communities" now, I believe.

The Lesson: There is risk with either choice. Stop implying that Garoppolo is a risk (by bringing up Flynn) and that a draft pick is not a risk (by focusing on average or upside outcomes). Either choice could go very, very sour.

As far as the "call and raise", Leaf more than counters Flynn as a cautionary tale, since he did far more damage to his teams before he left the league. Flynn at least had some value as a back up for a couple more seasons.

I hope that's clear enough.

by LyleNM :: Fri, 11/03/2017 - 2:08pm

The rookie salary scale mitigates the damage that a new Leaf could do to his team. It's not really quite as comparable (but I agree with the overall point).

by nat :: Fri, 11/03/2017 - 2:46pm

And I agree about the rookie salary structure being a factor.

It's actually complex, since you really should consider the potential for compensatory picks, salaries, gaurantees, likely trades, etc. The scenarios are almost endless.

My personal favorite is that the Patriots win the Super Bowl with Brady, and shortly after trade his remaining two year contract for a favorable five year deal on Garoppolo and some picks. SF gets Brady and goes deep into the playoffs. Brady stars in his home town in his waning years. NE takes the risk and reward on Garoppolo, who they know better than anyone.

Heads explode across the nation.

by theslothook :: Fri, 11/03/2017 - 6:08pm

Yes but, first overall picks have a higher expected mean value than 2nd round QBs. The debate is: does Jimmy G with his 1.5 starts provide enough evidence to bridge this gap. I'm fairly skeptical. I tend to put more weight on draft pedigree.

by mehllageman56 :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 1:27pm

JG is unlikely to be Russel at this point, because he's already played better than him. He could be Geno Smith though. I thought of him as someone with the upside of Danny White. He wasn't going to get the Pats to the Super Bowl, and I'll be surprised if he gets the Niners there either. I agree with Matt Waldman's assessment of him: https://mattwaldmanrsp.com/2014/03/05/qb-jimmy-garoppolo-knockout/

Conventional statistics may give Rosen 50 percent chance of being a bust, but this websites' quarterback forecast probably won't.

By the way, the first pick is always spent on a guy who has never played an NFL snap. That's why having more picks is the way to rebuild a team; the team has that many more chances for success.

I'm also annoyed the Jets traded away a fifth round pick yesterday for a struggling starter. Another case of a rebuilding team giving away picks that they could use.

by Richie :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 2:44pm

There have been 22 QB's taken first overall since the merger.

JaMarcus Russell and Tim Couch were clearly busts. David Carr and Sam Bradford haven't been too good, but they have each managed to start 79+ games in the NFL.

Jury still out on Jameis Winston and Jared Goff.

Then you have guys like Steve Bartkowski, Jeff George and Andre Luck who have been mixed bags (Luck has plenty of time to become worthy of his selection, if he hasn't already).

So if we want to be mean and call Carr and Bradford busts, that's really only 4 busts out of 20 picks (plus Winston and Goff).


by johonny :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 10:58am

Can't wait to watch Miami's explosive offense now! If you thought they looked bad before just wait...

by PatsFan :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 12:01pm

The more I think about it, the more I converge on something like this...

In the spring I think they kept JG because:
1) They felt the team was good enough for a very deep run even if Brady went down and JG had to take over for several games/rest of the year.
2) They were hoping they could get a bridge deal done.

Now here we are at the trading deadline. JG rejected any bridge deal. And the team isn't as good/deep as everyone hoped back in the spring. I think BB has concluded they they are screwed with anyone other than Brady -- which greatly lowers the insurance value of JG. So given that there's no realistic deep run w/o Brady and given that JG is gone at the end of this season, may as well trade him now and get something.

by RickD :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 12:31pm

I think in the Spring there it was reasonable to worry about Brady's ability to play an entire season at a high level, either because of injury or drop-off in play level. The latter is no longer a concern.
And I agree that the team talent level isn't high enough to think that they could win playoff games with Jimmy G. Also, he leans toward getting some kind of value out of an expiring contract, and Jimmy won't come back unless he's the starter. So he's traded.

Now if BB can flip a #2 pick for a good defensive lineman before 4 p.m. today, this will suddenly look like a very good trade to everybody, I would think. They certainly need help in the front seven more than they need a backup QB, even a very talented one, who will be gone at the end of the season.

by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 1:30pm

"or drop-off in play level. The latter is no longer a concern.'

Brady has looked great so far (excepting a handful of strings of plays during the first game or two of the season) - but I don't agree with it not being a concern.

Every 40+ quarterback has fallen off a cliff at some point - and that cliff often is right after a handful of games where they look fine. Manning has the neck as an excuse/qualifier, but Favre did the same thing, (played a string of 4 great games, 3 bad ones, 2 great ones, and then absolutely cratered).

At Brady's age, drop of in playing level should never not be a concern.

by PatsFan :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 4:27pm

And now NBC's golf analyst Ryan Burr is claiming that Kraft forced BB to trade JG to guarantee that Brady finishes his career with the team. Supposedly (according to Burr) "the Brady camp" felt Belichick might trade Brady after this season.

For the time being I don't buy that at all (for one thing, IIRC Brady's cap hit is pretty bad if he is traded/cut before the end of the 2018 season).

However, were Belichick to surprise everyone by quitting after the season, I'll retroactively give this a bunch more credence.

by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 5:10pm

I'm with you.

Frankly, I think BB would have quit on the spot and then stormed out of the building if this were the case.

by Eddo :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 10:27pm

Another reason I wouldn't buy it is if Kraft could force Belichick to trade Garoppolo now, why couldn't he force Belichick to not trade Brady after this season?

by PatsFan :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 9:22am

Good point.

Though if one is going to buy into the Kraft interference theory, perhaps a better formulation is that Kraft told Belichick that he would not be allowed to trade Brady, and given that, BB decided to trade JG now to at least get something for him.

by LionInAZ :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 12:06am

How surprising that only the Patriots trading away their backup QB would result in 100 comments.

by nat :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 9:38am

No need to be so jealous of the attention paid to the Patriots on this one.

He was a sought after (potential) free agent QB, with a too small but intriguingly strong body of work. His leaving the Patriots gives a reason for added hope to haters everywhere, both for this season and for the future. And there's a lot of material for the spin-mill to praise or damn Belichick's roster management. Any one of those would justify a discussion. All three means it's a hot topic.

by LionInAZ :: Sat, 11/04/2017 - 1:05am

I call nonsense. All of the attention is because of the incessantly verbose Patriot fanbase that dominate the comments if there's any whiff of relevance. There are often claims that FO is biased in favor of NE, but it's the comments that really drive that, not the FO staff coverage.

In any case, what evidence is there that Garoppolo was sought after, beyond the 49ers? After Matt Cassel and Ryan Mallett, I would be skeptical.

by theslothook :: Sat, 11/04/2017 - 2:47am

To defend the Patriot verbosity - and I say this as staunch an anti patriot fan as you can find - they rule the NFL. 5 sbs and 7 trips despite constantly drafting high or being stripped of crucial draft picks is remarkable and makes them endlessly fascinating. They maintain a strategic advantage over everyone else despite this being an incredibly competitive business. If it were as simple as Tom Brady is Lebron on the Cavs, I might not be as interested, but its a lot more than that and thats what makes them so interesting. I think there's a fair number of commenters who feel this way beyond the standard Pats fan(incidentally, I find most of the Pat fan posters on this forum very knowledgeable and even handed with their views on the Patriots).

As for Jimmy G - I agree with you. Not really sure why there's so much confidence in the priors for him, but these are knowledgeable fans, so I'm inclined to take their arguments seriously.

by CaffeineMan :: Sat, 11/04/2017 - 12:29pm

To me, Jimmy G. is a very interesting case to watch. I don't have a strong opinion yet on whether he will succeed.

I read the Waldman article that mehllageman referred to and I was interested in his assertion that a QB that "freezes" badly enough in the pocket couldn't improve enough in that regard to be effective in the NFL. He didn't provide any evidence for that view, although he provided examples of Jimmy G. freezing. I'm not sure his view is true, although it could be, and Jimmy G. provides an interesting example to watch.

Regarding the evaluation of draft pedigree versus the game-and-a-half of NFL experience, I'm inclined to weight NFL tape more heavily than college tape, but there isn't much NFL tape on him and context is alway important (surrounded by very-good-to-great offensive personnel, game plan designed for him to succeed by a great coaching staff). I don't think there's enough evidence to be confident about how his career's going to turn out one way or the other.

Regarding his trade value, say for the moment a team evaluates Jimmy G. as a good prospect, but still just a prospect, with no clear projection, like a college player with a small amount of extra, but highly relevant experience (his NFL snaps). A 2nd round pick is still a great way to take a shot on a player like that. Belichick has said that the second round is often where he takes flyers on players with potential, but no clear projection. I favor this approach, but I can also see the other side of the discussion. If you're taking a shot, then take a shot on an actual 2nd round draft choice, where you get the player cheap for awhile.

by jtr :: Sat, 11/04/2017 - 3:59pm

Regarding the Belichick thing on the second round, it's worth remembering that he's generally been picking near the end of the second round. So he has a bit of a different perspective. When the top 60 or so players are off the board, there really aren't any "sure thing" prospects left. This pick is a very high second, which is a very different animal. It's much closer to a typical Pats first rounder than second rounder.

by CaffeineMan :: Sat, 11/04/2017 - 8:40pm

A fair point.

However, I definitely don't believe that a high second rounder is the same as a low first rounder, as I've read some do. I still think what the 49er's gave up is a pretty reasonable price for a shot at what they apparently think is a very good QB. Especially since they haven't committed any salary cap resources long term. Like I said, I'm interested to see how well he'll do.

by Richie :: Mon, 11/06/2017 - 1:38pm

I am a Patriot hater. But the thing that has me fascinated about this trade is that it was San Francisco that traded for him, mid-season. Trying to figure out why they did it is interesting to me.

Also, Garoppolo was set to be one of the most interesting free agents this offseason (if New England didn't re-sign him). Not because he played for New England, but because he played well in very limited opportunity, so nobody really knows if he is one of the best 32 QB's in the league.

by jtr :: Fri, 11/03/2017 - 2:52pm

Don't forget the Belichick 10-dimensional chess scenario that might unfold here. Jimmy G turns out to be a Patriots agent all along. After getting half a season of valuable game experience, he turns down bigger offers and returns to the Patriots on a bargain deal bearing gifts: a second round pick, a copy of the 49ers playbook, and a lock of Kyle Shanahan's hair for Bill's dark rituals.

by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 11/06/2017 - 12:50am

is possibl

by PatsFan :: Mon, 11/06/2017 - 11:05am

LeGarrette Blount says "Hi".