Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports



The New England Patriots have a great deal of respect for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. He was always meant to succeed future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady. Garoppolo wants to play but Brady, who is now 40 years old, is still playing at an elite level.

Garoppolo watched from the sideline as Brady won two of his five Super Bowls while wondering when his time would come. His opportunity came on Monday when the San Francisco 49ers sent a 2018 second-round draft pick to the New England Patriots in exchange for the quarterback, who is celebrating his 26th birthday on Thursday.

If New England was so high on Garoppolo, why was head coach Bill Belichick willing to part with him for a second-round selection? Adam Schefter of ESPN joined the "Murph & Mac" show on KNBR Thursday morning to share some insight on that.

"I don't think that they wanted to move on from him," Schefter said. "I just think that they took it as long as they could. They went up to the trade deadline. They made a decision after making repeated attempts to try to re-sign Jimmy Garoppolo that they were going to be unable to do that and so they traded him to San Francisco."

Another factor that may have contributed to the decision to finally let Garoppolo go is the amount of respect Belichick has for 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. The 49ers attempted to inquire about a trade for Garoppolo early in the offseason and were quickly shut down by the Patriots before either team could discuss terms.

"You get an answer real quick from [the Patriots], and that was the case then," Lynch said on Tuesday while discussing the previous trade attempt.

As the trade deadline approached, the situation changed quickly. The trade took place even faster. Schefter previously reported that all of the trade discussions started and ended on Monday.

"I think a lot of this also, some part of this, had to do with the fact that Bill Belichick has as much respect as he does for John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan," Schefter continued on Thursday. "And when he looked at it, he could have traded Jimmy Garoppolo anywhere. Cleveland was dying for Jimmy Garoppolo. He decided that he wanted to send him out of conference to an organization he trusted. I know people would be skeptical of that, but I think he believes in these guys and that they're going to do right by Jimmy Garoppolo and this will be a great environment to groom him, grow him, and have him learn.

"He made the decision to trade him to those two individuals with the idea that he would not be in the Patriots' conference. With the idea that -- if they decided to go in another direction and trade him to the Jets or Bills or Dolphins in a quarterback-needy AFC East division because of the relationship between the sides.

"Basically, the Patriots did the Niners a solid here. Really, to be perfectly frank. In this particular case, the 49ers are the benefactors of that."

Another possible reason for not trading Garoppolo to the Cleveland Browns, who likely would have given up more than just a second-round pick, is the fact that Belichick was once fired by the team and had no intention of doing it any favors.

"Do you think he trusted to send this guy to Cleveland," Schefter continued, "to the place that basically has cycled through quarterbacks the way that we cycle through plastic bottles? No way. And do you think he's going to send him to a place, a city that once fired him and banished him? No way.

"Again, it wasn't like he said, 'Ok, Cleveland, forget them.' But in the back of his mind, it's just one other reinforcement to, 'He's not going there. I'm sending him to a place that I know and trust will do right by Jimmy Garoppolo.'"

This isn't the first time that a relationship with another organization has helped the 49ers. Just days after being announced as the new general manager, Lynch was able to secure former Denver Broncos director of college scouting Adam Peters to be the 49ers' VP of player personnel. Lynch is good friends with Broncos general manager John Elway.

You can listen to the entire interview with Schefter below.