The New England Patriots are hopeful they netted their quarterback of the future in Mac Jones, whom they selected with the No. 15 overall pick in the draft.
While it remains to be seen if Jones was the Patriots’ top target all along — they were heavily linked with Justin Fields during the pre-draft process — they still did incredibly well to nab Jones without reaching for him, which is the right way to run a draft.
Other than Jones and Fields, however, the Patriots also had the option of reuniting with former second-round pick Jimmy Garoppolo, whose future with the 49ers is up in the air after they drafted dual-threat quarterback Trey Lance third overall.
When push came to shove, however, it looked as though New England didn’t even show any interest in Garoppolo.
It’s unclear whether that was actually the case, but San Francisco now seems inclined to keep the seven-year pro through next season.
Seeing as though the 49ers might give Lance a year before naming him the full-time starter, insider Albert Breer recently disclosed it was San Fran who took Garoppolo off the market, which would make sense if they plan on redshirting their newly-minted rookie.
It seems like the 49ers themselves took Jimmy Garoppolo off the market. Sorry, Patriots
“I looked into this last week, and I was told nothing was going on,” Breer said during an appearance on the 98.5 The Sports Hub. “The decision to go with Trey Lance I think basically moved Jimmy Garoppolo further off the market. I think at that point the 49ers knew, and Kyle knew, we probably have to at least preserve the ability to redshirt our rookie quarterback for a year, because it’s Trey Lance and not Mac Jones.”
“I can’t imagine the 49ers would be going out there and actively trying to make a deal for Jimmy Garoppolo unless the compensation coming back was absolutely overwhelming. That’s what they’ve maintained the whole time.”
Breer later added that the 49ers weren’t going to ship Garoppolo out of town unless a team offered a return package they literally couldn’t turn down. That’s essentially what Shanahan and GM John Lynch have maintained since they moved up to No. 3 overall in order to draft a QB.
On top of that, San Francisco believes its championship window is still open. Though Garoppolo has a worrisome injury history, it goes without saying he offers the 49ers the best opportunity to contend even with Lance on the roster for 2021.
After all, Lance opted out of last season to focus on the draft and only started 19 games across three seasons at North Dakota State. While the young quarterback arguably has the highest ceiling of any QB in this year’s class, starting him as a rookie could derail his confidence.
It was certainly a heck of a run, and we definitely won’t miss it.
We’ll probably never know whether the Patriots had interest in Garoppolo, but it feels good we can finally say these rumors seemingly won’t be returning anytime soon.
The 49ers seem content on riding it out with the 29-year-old for another season and New England seems content with its current quarterback room. Remind us again: why did it take so stinking long to reach this point?