The New England Patriots did what they had to do.
They traded their backup quarterback for a second-round draft pick, which, without describing any of the other details, is a pretty good return for somebody that never even plays.
When you do sprinkle in all the other factors, it becomes even more obvious: sending Jimmy Garoppolo to San Francisco was a good trade for both teams.
But sticking with the trade from a Patriots perspective, it’s been alarming to see the amount of negative feedback this move has received, from fans and the media. It’s a product of the hype that’s surrounded Garoppolo since he was drafted by the Patriots in the second round (62nd overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft.
This was his fourth season in New England. And it was going to be his last, whether the Patriots traded him or not.
Garoppolo, 26, is a free agent in the offseason. That means he holds all the leverage, come March, and will look to sign with a team that won’t just guarantee him a starting quarterback job, but will also pay him the type of money that goes along with that role. Given Tom Brady’s continued success as the Patriots’ starting quarterback, it should be clear why Garoppolo wouldn’t choose to return to New England in 2018.
The Patriots — while still holding all the leverage leading up to Tuesday’s trade deadline — had a decision to make. It was one of three options: trade Brady and sign Garoppolo to a longterm lucrative contract, keep both quarterbacks and give Garoppolo the franchise tag in 2018, or trade Garoppolo for something better than the third-round compensation pick they’d receive when he did sign elsewhere.
Bill Belichick chose the trade. And for a second-round pick nonetheless.
Out of those three options, the trade was always the most logical choice. That’s why Adam Schefter’s repeated reports in which he stressed “the Patriots are not moving Garoppolo” made little to no sense.
Schefter was so adamant about it that the public — and those in the NFL — bought in, and they bought in hard. They saw Schefter as a respected journalist who wouldn’t continue to report this if it wasn’t true. It made people believe Garoppolo would be taking over for Brady sooner rather than later. But even crazier than all of that, it made people question Brady’s future.
And I’m sorry, but if you think the Patriots should have traded Brady before Tuesday at 4 p.m., then you need some serious help. Also, if you wanted to see Belichick slap a $25 million franchise tag onto his backup QB, then I’m convinced you’ve been brainwashed.
You think it’s a good idea to either trade Brady, or pay Garoppolo $25 million next season as Brady’s backup? You’re out of your mind if you think either of those two options are smart ones.
So they had to trade him. And they had to do it before Tuesday at 4.
Thanks to Schefter’s insistent reporting on the situation, the Patriots didn’t lose any leverage leading up to the trade deadline. In fact, Garoppolo’s availability came as a “surprise” to the 49ers, according to coach Kyle Shanahan. So, to no surprise here, Schefter was the one who broke the news of the trade.
Given Garoppolo’s situation, and Brady’s elite status with the first-place Patriots, this trade really shouldn’t surprise anybody.
The Patriots did what they had to do. They traded their backup quarterback, and added an early second-round pick in the process.
Not sure how you can be upset about that.
Listen to “The Danny Picard Show” at dannypicard.com. Follow him on Twitter @DannyPicard.