Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports


Peter King weighs in on Jimmy Garoppolo’s status with 49ers, future with Patriots

Apr 5, 2021 at 8:53 AM--


NBC Sports' Peter King weighed in on Jimmy Garoppolo, his status with the San Francisco 49ers, and his potential future with the New England Patriots, the team the quarterback spent his first three-and-a-half NFL seasons with.

First, the 49ers.

Count King among those who aren't confident that San Francisco will trade Garoppolo this year. The team has publicly stated that it plans to enter Week 1 with Garoppolo as the starter. Nothing the 49ers do at No. 3 may change that. Head coach Kyle Shanahan seems content with letting a rookie sit and learn for a year, which will be extremely beneficial considering his offense's complexity.

Said general manager John Lynch last week: "We went to ownership, said, '... We'd like to make this move (to trade up in the draft for a quarterback), but we also don't want to say goodbye to Jimmy. We think with Jimmy, we've shown we can get to a Super Bowl with him. We can play at a high level. And we don't think those two things have to be mutually exclusive.'"

The 49ers know they can win with Garoppolo. His availability is the main concern. The quarterback missed 23 games over the past three seasons, including 10 games last year due to ankle injuries. That prompted San Francisco to trade into the No. 3 spot and search for a suitable quarterback of the future, with "future" being the keyword.

Garoppolo is the odds-on favorite, at least internally, to be the Week 1 starter.

"This trade for the third pick in the draft is meant to enrich the quarterback position more than it is to dump Garoppolo," wrote King in his latest Football Morning in America feature. "In fact, I'll be very surprised if they move the oft-injured incumbent, because how can you count on a rookie to play at a high level five months after the draft? You can't."

Next, the Patriots.

King isn't optimistic that New England makes a move to acquire Garoppolo this year. The team has been rumored to covet Garoppolo still, and head coach Bill Belichick was seen chatting with Lynch and Shanahan at Alabama's pro day, prompting all kinds of speculation. While New England may still be interested in a reunion with the 49ers quarterback, the team's outlook could change during the draft.

"When Bill Belichick worked under Bill Parcells with the Giants, I know he had to hear Parcells harp on availability being more important than ability," wrote King, "and I just can't see Belichick making a big investment (in a pick and in a contract) in a guy who's missed 23 games in the last three years due to injury. Plus, if New England gets a quarterback, somehow, high in this draft, they'd have salary-manageability and a young prospect, and the yearning for Garoppolo goes away. If the Patriots don't get a quarterback this year, I could see them pursue Garoppolo on the cheap in 2022."





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