Report: Patriots 'still sniffing out' Jimmy G trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The 49ers, to this point, reportedly have refused to engage in any trade talks with the New England Patriots revolving around Jimmy Garoppolo.
But that doesn't mean Bill Belichick has given up on his dream of bringing Garoppolo back to Foxboro, according to ESPN's Dianna Russini.
“Just recently I was talking to somebody in the league who I really trust,” Russini said Thursday on "Get Up!". “He’s got good information. He said, ‘Do not take the Jimmy Garoppolo trade off the table.’ That is something New England is still sniffing out. Bill doesn’t like to put his cards out on the table so most think if we all know about that it probably won’t happen, but there is definitely a tone in the league that it could still go down.”
There's no reason for the 49ers to discuss a potential Garoppolo trade unless they have a better option under center. At the moment, the 49ers don't even have a reliable backup behind Garoppolo, let alone someone they feel can take over and do a better job of piloting coach Kyle Shanahan's offense on a weekly basis.
For the Patriots, they re-signed Cam Newton to a modest contract but all signs point to Belichick wanting to bring in someone who can compete with Newton in training camp. The Patriots own the No. 15 overall pick in the draft and many believe they could look to move up to secure Alabama's Mac Jones, expected to be the fifth quarterback taken in the first round.
The 49ers tossed a perfect game in free agency as general manager John Lynch was able to retain the team's top talent by re-signing Trent Williams, K'Waun Williams, Jason Verrett, Emmanuel Moseley, Kyle Juszczyk and Jaquiski Tartt as well as adding Alex Mack and Samson Ebukam.
San Francisco still needs to bolster its interior offensive line depth, find long-term answers in the secondary, add a slot receiver and get a backup for Garoppolo, but their primary plan was near-flawless in execution.
The 49ers' ability to exit free agency with no glaring need does give them the freedom and flexibility to move up in the draft to select one of the top quarterback prospects assuming there's one who Shanahan is high on. If they elect to do that, the 49ers could either turn the keys over to the rookie and trade Garoppolo or let the rookie sit for a season behind Garoppolo before giving him full control of the offense in 2022.
All signs point to Garoppolo being under center in Santa Clara for the 49ers next season, but that won't stop Belichick from trying to bring the man he wanted to take over for Tom Brady back to 1 Patriot Place.