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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots reportedly inquired about Jimmy Garoppolo before re-signing Cam Newton; 49ers said QB isn’t available right now

Mar 12, 2021 at 8:28 AM--

The New England Patriots surprised a few people this morning by re-signing quarterback Cam Newton to a one-year deal. Greg Bedard of The Boston Sports Journal reported that the team was high on San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and coveted him as its "Plan A."

That may have been the case. However, not wanting to enter free agency without a known-name at quarterback may have led to Newton's signing.

Evan Lazar of CLNS Media Network reports that the Patriots did reach out to the 49ers to "kick the tires" on Garoppolo before finalizing today's deal (h/t to Patrick Tulini). He states that the conversations never advanced because San Francisco is currently telling teams that Garoppolo isn't available. Lazar clarifies that the correct wording should be that Garoppolo isn't available "right now," noting that things could change.

"But the Niners' timeline didn't line up with the #Patriots," tweeted Lazar, "who wanted to move on a vet QB before free agency. So its Cam, for now."

Last month, 49ers general manager John Lynch was asked if there is any doubt that Garoppolo is the team's quarterback in September, should he be injury-free.

"No," Lynch responded. "Not at all. I really believe that."

The general manager added that the offseason goal is to bolster the position's depth. That way, should Garoppolo miss time again, the team is better prepared. Garoppolo missed 10 games last season due to injuries, and the 49ers finished with just six wins.

Garoppolo started his NFL career in New England, spending three-and-a-half seasons with the Patriots before being traded to San Francisco in 2017. He started five games for the 49ers that season, winning all of them. In 2019, he helped guide San Francisco to 13 regular-season wins, a division title, and a Super Bowl appearance. However, the quarterback has missed 23 games over the past three seasons.

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