How would Jimmy Garoppolo have felt about reuniting with the New England Patriots this offseason?
It’s long been assumed that he’d welcome a return to Foxboro, where he spent his first three-plus NFL seasons backing up Tom Brady. But the San Francisco 49ers quarterback was asked point-blank Tuesday by CBS Sports’ Damon Amendolara on “The DA Show” whether that’s actually the case.
“I don’t know. We never really got to cross that bridge,” Garoppolo said. “You never know where your path is going to take you in the NFL. I thought I was going to be in New England for my entire career. That didn’t go as planned. So it’s kind of one of those businesses; you’ve just got to be ready for anything. You’ve got to be on your toes. You’ve got to be able to react. However the story plays out, you’ve just got to be able to run with it.”
Garoppolo has been linked to the Patriots for a while, especially with the 49ers trading up for the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft — a selection San Francisco since used on North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance.
Now, the possibility of a reunion seems farfetched, as New England drafted Alabama QB Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick last Thursday. But Garoppolo remains the subject of trade speculation, largely because he’s under team control with San Francisco for two more years, through the 2022 season, with cap hits of $26 million and $27 million, respectively.
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has said since drafting Lance that Garoppolo remains San Francisco’s starting quarterback for now. It’ll be fascinating to see how the situation unfolds, as Garoppolo continues to insist publicly he’s not frustrated with the 49ers trading up in the draft for his eventual replacement.
“My dad’s an electrician, grew up in a blue-collar household. So I don’t know, it’s just one of those things, you’ve got to roll with the punches,” Garoppolo said. “Whenever an opportunity presents itself, you’ve got to be ready to take advantage of it. That’s kind of what I’ve done throughout my entire career, and that’s what I’m going to keep doing. Like my dad said, nothing is going to be handed to me. Nothing is going to be handed to anyone in this league. You’ve got to go in there and work.”
It’s safe to say Garoppolo, drafted in the second round by New England in 2014, hasn’t lost his “do your job” mentality in the years since Bill Belichick shipped him to the Bay Area at the 2017 NFL trade deadline.
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