On the evening of October 30, just as Monday Night Football was getting ready to kick off, the San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots were finalizing a deal to send prized backup quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, to the Niners in exchange for what will be a high second-round draft pick in the 2018 Draft.
The headline above is not to mislead you into thinking that the Patriots got screwed, though. This trade was really a win-win for both organizations. New England feels like they can ride it out for a few more years with Tom Brady playing at a high level, and they were going to have to pay Garoppolo an elite starter’s salary for continuing to be a backup after this season. Maybe Brady and Belichick retire together in a couple years, so why not go all in right now if in 3 years it’s not going to matter to you who the next starting quarterback is.
San Francisco finds themselves at the bottom of the NFL standings once again, so that second-round pick will be one of the first picks off the board on Day 2 of the draft…a coveted spot for NFL teams, and one that will give New England the flexibility to move up or down in the draft if they so choose. They also send “Jimmy G” clear across the country and into the NFC, so he can’t haunt their future playoff hopes.
As for the 49ers, they just acquired a potential franchise quarterback for the next 10 years if it works out. And if you think about it, they really didn’t give up anything to do so. As I mentioned above, they will no doubt have a top pick next April. When you combine the fact that nearly half the league could be looking for new quarterbacks in 2018 with the notion that several of the top college prospects off the board are expected to be quarterbacks, that allows GM John Lynch a variety of options.
Garoppolo has the rest of the 2017 season to show that he can play the part of the franchise quarterback that they so desperately need. If he does, and the Niners can get a long-term contract worked out with him, then Lynch can use that top pick to trade down, even one or two spots, and no doubt receive a bounty of picks in return. If any team knows about this, it’s San Francisco. As it was just last spring that they received 3 draft picks from the Chicago Bears (to draft QB Mitchell Trubisky), just to move down one spot… and they still got the player they wanted.
The 49ers could easily reacquire that second-round pick that they gave up to get Garoppolo, and more, as teams trip over themselves to move up into the top of the draft in hopes of landing one of those much sought-after QB’s. Another brilliant job by John Lynch in his first year as General Manager.