49ers Trade for Garoppolo

There have been rumors swirling since last year about Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo and today the rumors finally became reality with the 49ers sending a 2nd round pick to the Patriots in exchange for the young QB. The trade is a pretty big one that will have some far reaching consequences.

First of all for the Patriots this is a great trade. The 49ers are currently slated to pick 2nd in the draft and barring a miraculous second half of the season should ensure that the Patriots have one of the top picks of the 2nd round. Those picks are essentially cheap first rounders.

There was a great deal of talk about how the Patriots were going to franchise Garoppolo and sit him behind Brady another year or trade him for a 1st rounder. Realistically none of that was going to happen. The Patriots organization trades away players more often than not once they become too expensive. To think that they would use the franchise tag on a backup who would never see the field except for injury seems pretty nonsensical.  Odds are the best they would have done was a third round comp pick. So to move him in-season is a great job. This also eliminates any talk of moving on from Brady, which given the cap charges and his legendary status also seemed unlikely.

Originally the trade was to include Brian Hoyer, but he was removed from the deal once it was realized, as Nick Korte pointed out, that he would cost the Patriots one of their upcoming compensatory draft picks. Since Hoyer was a UFA this year a trade for him would work the same as if the Patriots signed him back in March. I would anticipate that Hoyer will still sign with New England this week. As long as he is released tomorrow he wont have to clear waivers before becoming a free agent.

The 49ers are now presented with an interesting opportunity. They can offer Garoppolo a large contract extension now and use up a ton of their 2017 cap room in the process making things much easier down the line if he becomes Rob Johnson. The 49ers haven’t signed a premier player contract since Colin Kaepernick a few years ago and in general are one of the tougher organizations with contracts. I’m not sure if they can do that with him given what they just moved for him.

The other option is to go the franchise tag route which may work for a year but if he is indeed as good as people seem to think that will backfire over the long term. My feeling is if they are convinced that he is good enough to part with that 2nd rounder then they should just do the deal in the next two weeks and get it over with.

I would think that this trade comes in part because of how poor the 49ers have looked since making the switch to CJ Beathard a third round draft pick who the 49ers seen to have already given up on. Once they made the move to Beathard it would be near impossible to go back to Hoyer so they may have seen this as the only way to maintain respectability rather than getting blown out the rest of the year en route to one of the top two picks in the draft.

The trade will also impact Kirk Cousins pending free agency. The feeling was that the 49ers were going to make an offer that the Redskins simply could not match for Cousins but that would seem to be off the table. Whether they soured on Cousins, needed an immediate upgrade, or realized that such an offer sheet would be pretty crazy it would seem that ship has sailed. That’s not to say that teams like the Jaguars, Browns or Jets wouldn’t be interested in Cousins but it will hurt him.

This may also say something about the draft prospects this year.  While going into the season this was supposed to be a good QB class it sounds like that opinion is changing. To pass on a QB with the 2nd pick it means they didn’t think these guys were as good as Garoppolo and if they are going to extend him it means by a pretty wide margin.

That does open up the draft to QB needy teams like the Browns, Giants, Jets, and Cardinals all picking in the top 10. It also opens the door for the 49ers to shop the pick and get a haul in return more than making up for the 2 they are giving up in this trade. Recent trades for top qbs have been pretty lucrative for the team trading the pick.

Any way you slice it the trade really changes the dynamics of both free agency and the draft and well see how it plays out over the next few months.

  • David Kubik

    –The trade will also impact Kirk Cousins pending free agency.–

    Ive always thought Cousins to New Orleans was more likely…

    • McGeorge

      Because the Saints manage their cap so well and will have lots of money for him???
      What about the Browns or Jets, not that Cousins would want to go there.

      • David Kubik

        I see your point, but I think the Saints history on how they manage their cap makes it more likely that they will overspend on a QB in free agency. I don’t see Kirk going to the Browns or the Jets…otherwise he would just stay put in Washington.

  • ksperfect

    Since it was reported that the Browns offered the 14th pick in last year’s draft for Jimmy, I was very surprised how little the Patriots got in return for him. The Browns must really like the QBs in the draft to not offer Houston’s first. I actually think the 2nd round pick is more appropriate given his very little sample size.

    • Brandon Darby

      It will largely depend on how he plays out the season. If he’s Brian Hoyer 2.0…he may not even get a contract offer. If he puts up similar numbers to what he did in short service time in NE? 5 Years and $115-120M would probably be the baseline.

      • McGeorge

        It all depends on when they get a contract done.
        If they wait until after the season, JG can walk, and the 49ers are out a very high #2.
        I’m guessing they try and sign him very soon before he plays much.

        • Brandon Darby

          I think you’re forgetting that they can transition tag or franchise tag him. His agent has already put it out there the fat type of contract he’s looking for. Why pay full price before they see him play if his contract demands are already at the top of the scale as is? He won’t be any more expensive at the end of the season vs now…might as well make him earn it, right?

          • McGeorge

            If they franchise him then they have lost leverage and future negotiations will be more expensive if he does well. If he does poorly then they have over paid for that one year.

            Make him prove himself, yes, and then watch him gain contract leverage too.

          • Brandon Darby

            No, you said “If they wait until after the season, JG can walk,”. All I’m saying is that if he plays well enough and they don’t come to a new deal on a contract; they have the option to keep him from walking. Would it be a poor outcome for the team? Yes, but he’s not going anywhere if he performs well. As for overpaying him for one year? That’s the beauty of the franchise tag…yeah, you overpaid for one year and not 4 or 5 ala the super bad Brock Osweiler deal.

            As for contract leverage, his agent was already telling the Pats he was looking for 5+ years and 100M+. How much higher, realistically, can he expect to get between now and the end of the season? Even if he plays out of his mind, say better than what he did in NE (which I doubt tremendously just based on the talent around him in SF), he goes to the top of the QB contract list which is about $25M per year. So we’ve gone from 100M to 125M; and it won’t matter because it’ll be hugely front end loaded with a massive signing bonus so they’ll still have ample cap room after a 2018 $40M chunk goes to him. But in the interim, they have 7+ games to figure out if “He’s the guy” and worth that huge contract. Let us not forget that Brock Osweiler also looked good in relief of Peyton Manning for a few games and the Texans blindly signed him to that crazy deal…at least the 49ers are getting the benefit of sampling the goods and seeing him play in their uniform and for their coaching staff before making the purchase. And if he’s NOT “The guy”, then they still have the second-ish overall pick to grab a guy like Josh Rosen. This was a brilliant trade as far as the 49ers are concerned, unless he just flat out falls on his face.

          • McGeorge

            If they wait until after the season he can walk is 100% correct. His contract is up.

            They can franchise him if he plays well. He will also have the leverage. They don’t have to lose him, but they will have to pay him.

            The problem with getting a QB this far into the season is you won’t have much time to reach a decision. Unless they have a contract already worked out.

            You and I have no idea how much he wanted from the Pats. His agent said this, Belichick said that, I believe none of it. An Agent has a number in mind and asks for more, maybe a lot more. A team has a number in mind and offers less. They meet somewhere in the middle, or not.

            If Garoppolo does well, they are going to have to pay up, who knows how much. If he asks for more than the Osweiller contract whats is SF going to do?

          • Brandon Darby

            You’re not making any sense and literally contradicting yourself. He can’t walk UNLESS THEY LET HIM. A team retains the rights to a player until the free agency period begins and have until March 6th to transition or franchise tag a player (https://operations.nfl.com/football-ops/league-governance/2017-18-important-nfl-dates/). So if the season is over after the super bowl, that gives them another MONTH to figure out what to do. And even then, they’ve got a couple days to exclusively negotiate a new contract before the actual free agency period starts. You may be confusing baseball (which you CAN walk when your contract is up) and football (where the teams have all the power). So NO, he doesn’t “Get to walk” unless he sucks and the team lets him.

            Won’t have much time? Like 6 or 7 games won’t be enough time to see if he can successfully execute one of the most player friendly offenses in the NFL under Kyle Shanahan? That’s plenty of time. Assuming he plays well, I GUARANTEE you he will ask for more than Osweiler and he’ll get it. If you’d click on the “cap space” option there at the top of the page and scroll down just a wee bit; you’d see that the 49ers have about $57M in cap space this year and another $62M next year. If they think they’ve found their franchise QB, I’ll tell you what they’ll do…THEY’LL BACK THE BRINKS TRUCK UP AND DROP $100M+ IN HIS LAP. If I’m not mistaken, the 49ers actually HAVE to spend some money to meet the salary floor set by the last CBA. When you’re 0-8 and have near infinite cap room; what’s more important: A franchise QB or slightly less than infinite cap room?

          • McGeorge

            You are the one not making any sense.
            If they don’t negotiate with him early, and wait until the season is ended, his contract is up.
            They can franchise him, but that gets expensive, and is short term. If Garoppolo turns out to be as good as say an average QB, then there are QB needy teams (like the 49ers, Jets, Browns) that may be willing to over pay him.

            A QB needs some time to pick up the playbook. He doesn’t show up a week later and is at peak effectiveness.

            I suspect the 49ers and Garoppolo have some kind of basic agreement in place.

  • Werner

    Wonder why / that Pats did not immediately convert the pick into Front-Seven Defense Help they still need latest in the Play-Offs. Time to short – Candidate List not relevant – Cap Space not sufficient – or is BB again ahead of the Curve and got payment in picks and removing a competitor in the next drafs QB Competition ?