Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports



Thursday is San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan's 38th birthday. However, his gift arrived on October 30 in the form of new franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

The reasoning behind the New England Patriots' decision to trade Tom Brady's heir apparent to the 49ers has been the topic of much discussion. The Patriots reportedly had the Cleveland Browns begging for an opportunity to acquire the quarterback.

Cleveland is in the same conference while San Francisco is not. But as ESPN's Adam Schefter has said in the past, he doesn't believe that was the sole reason behind the decision. While the Browns organization is in disarray, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has a great deal of respect for 49ers general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan. Schefter reiterated that belief on Thursday morning during a KNBR interview.

"In this particular case, New England came to the realization before it made any calls, 'Ok, unfortunately for us, as much as we want to keep Jimmy Garoppolo, we can't,'" Schefter said on the "Murph & Mac" show. "'We have to trade him, and we've got to trade him here in the next two days. Where do we want to trade him? I like John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan. I think they're going to do right by Jimmy G. Let's call them.'"

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Garoppolo has since started two games for the 49ers, increasing his record as a starting quarterback to 4-0. However, he didn't start right away. The 49ers eased him into the offensive scheme and showed extreme patience as he learned the playbook. There was no sense of urgency to start Garoppolo right away or this season at all. The 49ers were integrating their franchise quarterback the right way. It wasn't until an injury to rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard that Garoppolo got his opportunity to play.

Since then, the 49ers have become one of the most positively discussed 3-10 teams in NFL history – at least in the Bay Area. Excitement surrounds the 49ers, who finally have a franchise player to build around.

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"I'm theorizing here, but that trade fell into their laps," Schefter said. "And it fell into their laps, I believe, in large part because Bill Belichick and the Patriots organization had as much respect and good feeling for John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan as they did because the Cleveland Browns had been calling the Patriots last spring over and over. They tried apparently this fall and never got to first base with them. And then Monday morning, the day before the trade deadline (on) October 30, 49ers just sitting there, the Patriots call.

"(Patriots:) 'I think we're open to trading Jimmy G. You want him? Interested?' (49ers:) 'Yeah.' (Patriots:) 'Ok.'

"Next, it takes all of five minutes to agree to because the Patriots came to that point. Now, again, the 49ers are in the right conference – out of conference – but I'm telling you, I believe in my heart that the respect that Bill Belichick had for John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan factored into the decision to make that call into that place that morning.

"Look, ultimately, you've got to get what you think is fair compensation but the time was right. New England had made the decision that they had to move on, and when it looked out at the landscape of NFL teams, I think they liked and respected the people with the 49ers organization. And, as much respect as the Patriots have for Jimmy Garoppolo, they wanted to place him in a place they thought would treat him the way that they thought he should be treated, and that was the 49ers."

You can listen to the entire interview with Schefter below.