The 49ers need an upgrade at quarterback, and Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo is is on the market with an asking price equal to the Sam Bradford trade (a first and a fourth). Should San Francisco bite?
Never. This is just my opinion, but history seems very clear on one point. You never come out ahead in a trade with Bill Belichick. He has a very consistent track record of discarding players at the right time, finding unappreciated talent, and getting the best trade value in both directions.
It’s like playing poker with a pro. You’re not going to win, and the cards you get don’t even really matter.
Forget Tom Brady, since Belichick passed on him 5 times before drafting the star QB. I’m talking about Randy Moss, Aquib Talib, Rodney Harrison, Corey Dillon, Wes Welker, etc. etc. He even lets players roam and gets them back when they’re cheaper (Patrick Chung, LeGarrette Blount).
Sure, Belichick has made some bad deals. But they are all players he acquired who didn’t work out (ex-Niner Isaac Sopoaga, Chad Ochocinco, Chad Jackson, Dominique Easley, Albert Haynesworth &c). That happens to everyone in the NFL.
How many times has Belichick ever let a good player go, who proved to be a bargain for his new team?
The most controversial trade away was probably linebacker Jamie Collins, but that trade is already looking smarter and smarter just two months later. The conditional pick was confirmed as a third rounder today, and the Patriots defense has thrived without the LB. Meanwhile, heading into free agency, Collins “has tanked.” He was rated as the NFL’s worst edge defender in week 15 by Pro Football Focus:
Collins looked disinterested at times in this game, frequently finding himself losing his contain on outside run plays. He was also targeted five times in the passing game, surrendering five catches for 71 yards.
If you can get Garoppolo in free agency, go for it. (You won’t.) But don’t even talk to Belichick. That’s like a gazelle sitting down with a lion to see if they can work out a mutually beneficial arrangement.