NFL Rumors: Patriots Called About Jimmy Garoppolo, Other Available QBs

Report: Patriots have called about Jimmy G, other available QBs originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Conventional wisdom says that, despite all the rumors, the 49ers will bring Jimmy Garoppolo back as their starting quarterback in 2021. But that doesn't mean their phone hasn't been ringing.

The New England Patriots, who are in need of a starting quarterback after their failed experiment with Cam Newton, have "had conversations regarding every potential trade candidate in the league," The Athletic's Jeff Howe reported Monday, citing sources.

According to Howe, the Patriots spoke to the Detroit Lions about Matthew Stafford and the Philadelphia Eagles about Carson Wentz but weren't in the running for either quarterback. The price it cost the Los Angeles Rams and Indianapolis Colts to acquire the aforementioned quarterbacks has slanted the trade market toward the sellers, and the Patriots, according to Howe, are taking a cautious approach.

But the Patriots have "picked up the phone" for any quarterback that might be available, according to Howe, including Garoppolo, Sam Darnold, Deshaun Watson and Marcus Mariota.

The Patriots drafted Garoppolo in the second round in the 2014 NFL Draft with head coach Bill Belichick hoping Garoppolo would take the reins from Tom Brady. Brady, of course, kept kicking Father Time in the teeth, and eventually, the Patriots were forced to trade Garoppolo, sending him to the 49ers at the midway mark of the 2017 NFL season.

Brady, of course, left the frigid New England winters in his rearview mirror last offseason when he chose to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 49ers elected to pass on adding the 43-year-old legend. While 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan was able to walk the path Belichick desired in choosing Garoppolo over Brady, that decision might have backfired in hindsight. While the 49ers didn't think Brady had a lot left in the tank, Brady proved them wrong, as he played at a near-elite level while piloting the Bucs to a Super Bowl win over the Chiefs. The cherry on top of the hindsight sundae is that Brady's triumph came just 12 months after the 49ers failed to knock off Kansas City in Super Bowl LIV.

While Brady was leading the Bucs to a title, the Patriots went 7-9 and their passing attack was one of the most ineffective in the league.

RELATED: Jimmy G's Patriots reunion only happens in two unlikely scenarios

The 49ers have quarterback carousel viewers over the past two offseasons, but they have been careful not to go all-in on a quarterback who wasn't a surefire upgrade over Garoppolo. Brady would have been, and even then, they passed.

There's no doubt the Patriots would love to bring Garoppolo back to 1 Patriot Place. But that only happens if the 49ers find a way to upgrade from the quarterback that went 13-3 and led them to a Super Bowl two seasons ago, which is easier said than done.

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