The New England Patriots have a lot of question marks heading into the offseason. They need to upgrade their skill positions and their defense fell off a cliff in 2020. Paramount among the things to figure out, however, is the quarterback position, which could see a familiar face being a target in San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
The Patriots took a gamble allowing Tom Brady to leave during the 2020 offseason. It was a gamble that didn’t pay off, as New England missed the postseason and watched from their couches as Brady helped lead the Tampa Bay Buccanneers to a Super Bowl victory.
They tried to fill the void with Cam Newton, but things didn’t work out as planned. The offense sputtered as Newton’s positive COVID-19 test derailed the team’s performance. Now, they are back in the market for another quarterback.
Picking at No. 15 in the 2021 NFL Draft, there is no guarantee they will get a quarterback of the future there. As many as five quarterbacks could be selected in the top-10, so New England would have to get aggressive to land the guy they want.
There are some free agent options, as Jameis Winston was named a perfect fit for the Patriots in free agency. However, it sounds like they want to return to a familiar face in Jimmy Garoppolo.
According to JPA Football via NBCS49ers, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is the Patriots’ top target at the quarterback position.
The Patriots originally selected Garoppolo out of Eastern Illinois in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He was expected to be the heir apparent to Brady, but once it became clear Brady would be under center longer than anticipated, New England traded Garoppolo to San Francisco on October 31, 2017, for a second-round pick.
While Garoppolo’s stats aren’t eye-popping and injuries have been a concern, he has proven to be a winner in the NFL. He went 2-0 during his time with the Patriots and has gone 22-8 with the 49ers.
Garoppolo is someone Belichick had enough confidence in to replace Brady that he selected him with a second-round pick. It is no surprise that he is the player they are targeting as Garoppolo has experience in their system and is someone they are comfortable with having under center.