Hannable: Following Jimmy Garoppolo’s massive payday, it’s absolutely worth questioning Patriots’ return on trade

Ryan Hannable
February 08, 2018 - 3:37 pm

Stan Szeto/USA Today Sports

Even though the trade occurred on Oct. 30, it was still was a major topic of conversation for the remainder of the season, and still is to this day.

Many questioned why Bill Belichick and the Patriots only received a second-round pick from the 49ers in return for Jimmy Garoppolo? There are conflicting reports, but it seems like the Patriots only spoke to the 49ers regarding a trade, and there wasn’t any negotiation needed. After all, 49ers GM John Lynch said it only took 10 minutes to accept.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jimmy,” Belichick said on the conference call following the trade. “I couldn’t ask for him to give us any more than he’s given us. The 49ers are getting a good player, and they’re getting a good person, and they’re getting a great teammate and they’re getting a good quarterback. Jimmy is getting a good coach. His career is moving forward. He’s a talented individual, was a great person to coach. I met with him weekly and, again, have a tremendous amount of respect for him.”

The praise Belichick gave Garoppolo far exceeded anything we’ve ever seen from the coach. Clearly, he knew he was trading away a special player, which was further proven in the ESPN story, which implied Belichick wanted to win with Garoppolo one day.

As the months passed, some tried to defend Belichick for only getting a second-round pick in return, noting some past deals involving quarterbacks and that he was going to be a free agent after the season. 

But, following Garoppolo reportedly agreeing to a five-year deal worth $137.5 million and a three-year cash total of $90 million, Belichick and the Patriots absolutely didn’t get proper value.

When you trade away a quarterback who then gets the most money per year in NFL history, you absolutely should get more than a second-round pick in return.

Of course, at the time of the trade Garoppolo had only made two NFL starts and didn’t win five straight games with his new team, but the Patriots had spent three-and-a-half years with him. They knew he was the real deal.

We’re not even saying the Patriots should have received a first-round pick in return for him. What about a second and a third? What about multiple second-round picks, even extending beyond the 2018 draft? More was needed.

Not getting enough in return could potentially hurt the Patriots when it comes to replacing him. 

New England will in all likelihood will be drafting Brady’s successor in this coming draft, but it only has five picks as of now (not including compensation picks). While it has four picks in the top 95, the Patriots probably will need to trade up in order to land the quarterback they want. Wouldn’t having an additional draft pick or two to move up help their cause?

The team also has other needs, especially on defense, so it could use all the high draft picks it can get.

Only netting a second-rounder, which turns out will be in the low 40s overall, was not a great return for Belichick and the Patriots. At the time of the trade it could have been slightly argued that he was only worth a second-rounder, but after the commitment the 49ers gave him Thursday, there’s no debate anymore.

Following the Malcolm Butler situation from the Super Bowl and now Garoppolo’s massive deal, this will not go down as one of Belichick’s finest weeks.

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