Greg Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal said Jimmy Garoppolo was far and away the Patriot's “Plan A” at quarterback early in March. Fast forward after the first wave of free agency, and New England has added a ton of weapons and re-signed quarterback Cam Newton.
In his latest podcast, starting at the 26:44 minute mark, Bedard doubled down, saying what has transpired hasn’t changed anything for the Patriots and that Garoppolo has always been Plan A for New England:
They have tried to get him. They have tried to engage with the 49ers. The 49ers will not engage, at least to this point, without having something better, or their own sort of plan. The Patriots were like, ‘alright, fine.’ The words that I was told is that the 49ers are screwing around and not really engaging.
Yes, they love Jimmy. Would they like to have Jimmy here? Yes. But, they’re not going to sit around and wait and pine for Jimmy because what happens? Then you’re left with nothing at the end of the day. So they made other plans. So, I would say, the most likely plan at this point, is Cam Newton with a draft pick.
It could mean anything, in terms of the draft. It also applies to Garoppolo. If they traded for Garoppolo, they could do some things where they give him his salary in a bonus and prorated, and really his cap hit is only like $4 million in Year 1.
Somebody told me this the other day that it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the 49ers just release Garoppolo at some point with the $25 million he’s on their books. They say maybe we’re going to do this or that in the draft. That is possible.
There is a light on for Jimmy G, trust me. It’ll probably always stay on for Jimmy G. I’d say the most likely scenario right now, is Cam Newton and a quarterback.
So, Jimmy is likely out as the Pats' QB, but Bedard didn’t rule out the Niners flat out releasing Garoppolo.
San Francisco was never going to move on from Garoppolo without a plan. Some fans want the team to release him now, but that wouldn’t make any sense. The 49ers would lose a lot of leverage when it comes to trading with other teams, and the last thing you want to do is go into the NFL Draft with everyone knowing you need a quarterback.
If a trade happens, then it happens. That’s far more likely than the Niners releasing Jimmy, as is Garoppolo remaining the starter for the 2021 season. Let’s see if the team brings in a backup over the next couple of days before jumping to conclusions about the starter.