There were a barrage of trades made before the NFL trade deadline on Tuesday at 4 p.m. But the Patriots trading backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for a second-round draft pick was the one that stood out the most. The deal came as a surprise to some, with the quarterback’s name having not been mentioned in the trade market since the NFL draft in May.
The deal needed to happen though and both teams benefited from it. Here are some reasons why.
- Tom Brady. The 40-year-old has showed no signs of slowing down. At the halfway mark, the ageless wonder has a stat line of 16 touchdowns to two interceptions, while posting a quarterback rating of 106.5. He also leads all quarterbacks with 2,541 yards passing, over 400 yards ahead of the next player. Brady has proven that, avoiding injury, he’ll be around for at least a couple more years.
- Garoppolo shouldn’t have to wait any longer. The 26-year-old shone during his brief time in New England. He needs to move on and lead a team of his own. San Francisco provides the perfect opportunity. Brian Hoyer showed he’s a serviceable backup at best, and after his release, the 49ers were left with rookie C.J. Beathard, who gave the team mixed results in two starts. Garoppolo will certainly have to be patient, and will most likely not see any playing time in his first few weeks with the team. But once he adjusts and learns the system, the 49ers will incorporate him into the starting offense. If the team can surround him with more weapons, they can definitely make a pushback into the division race in the next couple of years.
- The Patriots are most likely getting an early second-round pick. They’re definitely getting the pick and it’s most likely an early second rounder. At 0-8 it’s a safe bet San Francisco will be landing a top three pick in next year’s draft. This means their second-round pick will be high as well, giving the Patriots two in the round. The Patriots will most likely hold a pick late in the first round as well, giving them two picks in the span of six or seven selections at most.
- Brian Hoyer returns to New England. Rumored to have been part of the original deal for Garoppolo, the journeyman quarterback returns to the Patriots for a second stint. The nine-year veteran signed a three-year deal worth $4.41 million Wednesday. His name’s not flashy, but he’s familiar with the Patriots system, having played with the team from 2009-2011. Under the radar, Hoyer has a lifetime 83.3 quarterback rating with 48 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. He won’t be seeing much time, but he’s the best option for a backup to Tom Brady.
- Garoppolo was gone no matter what. The Patriots were not signing Garoppolo in the offseason, not a chance. He was leaving here no matter what and the Patriots knew it. They played it smart, and landed a second-round pick. What they do with the pick is completely up in the air with it being the Patriots. They could ship it away in another trade in the offseason, or choose to draft a player. Either way, it was well played on New England’s end, and San Francisco really needed this too. Garoppolo may finally be the quarterback the team’s been looking for the last few years.