Before the NFL trade deadline was approaching and before Jimmy Garoppolo was dealt to the San Francisco 49ers, many reports suggested that the asking price for him was a pair of first-round picks. This was echoed in the ESPN report from Seth Wickersham on the growing divide within the New England Patriots organization.
There are a lot of reasons given for why Bill Belichick dropped the price to a second-round pick, from his respect to Mike Shanahan and by association, Kyle Shanahan to thinking the 49ers would be a good destination for Garoppolo, a player Belichick felt strongly about. It was also shortly before the trade deadline and Garoppolo was set to be a free agent, so a deal needed to get done.
But I’m more interested in the original asking price. The Patriots spent a second-round pick on Garoppolo, and Belichick liked his skillset a lot. Belichick molded him into a good quarterback and Garoppolo had time to sit and study behind Tom Brady (who, according to the report, did not offer assistance to Garoppolo because that’s the kind of person he is).
In other words, Garoppolo after a few years in the Patriots system is a better quarterback than the one the Patriots spent a second-round pick on in the 2014 NFL Draft. Much better.
Two first-round picks better?
That’s what I want to know: would 49ers fans be happy with the Garoppolo trade if the compensation had been two first-round picks?
For me, the answer is yes, because I believe Garoppolo is a franchise quarterback and that true franchise quarterbacks are worth pretty much any amount of draft capital. Yes, it would hurt to be out those picks, but Garoppolo’s play has been so strong. He’s a lot more guaranteed than any first-round rookie, or any two first-round rookies. But I can see where some might argue otherwise.