The 49ers' trade for Jimmy Garoppolo is looking more and more like a steal

  • Jimmy Garoppolo is 4-0 as a starter for the San Francisco 49ers.
  • Garoppolo not only looks like a franchise quarterback, it only cost the team a second-round pick to acquire him from the New England Patriots.
  • The Patriots reportedly viewed Garoppolo as a future starter, making the trade that much more difficult to swallow.


The San Francisco 49ers are the hottest team in the NFL, and it's because of the play of Jimmy Garoppolo.

Since taking over as the starting quarterback in Week 13, Garoppolo has been a revelation. In four games, all wins, he's thrown for 1,250 yards, completing 68% of his passes, with four touchdowns, three interceptions, and a 96.2 passer rating.

The stats are impressive for a player who had just two starts under his belt when the 49ers acquired him in a trade with the New England Patriots.

The Patriots appear to have done right by Garoppolo. Bill Belichick reportedly refused to trade Garoppolo to the Cleveland Browns because he didn't think Garoppolo could flourish there. Instead, he sent him to the similarly quarterback-needy 49ers to work with Kyle Shanahan, who previously turned Matt Ryan into an MVP with the Atlanta Falcons.

The Patriots are also paying the price for dealing Garoppolo. The Patriots reportedly saw Garoppolo as a future franchise quarterback, but Tom Brady's insane longevity held up turning the team over to him. With an awkward timeline to juggle — and very little leverage, with Garoppolo hitting free agency in 2018 – the Patriots traded Garoppolo to the 49ers for a second-round pick.

22 PHOTOS
Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo
See Gallery
Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo
FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 22: Tom Brady #12 and Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the New England Patriots run onto the field before a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Gillette Stadium on October 22, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JUNE 17: The New England Patriots held a minicamp at the practice field at Gillette Stadium. Quarterbacks Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo kick their legs up during warmups. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
June 19, 2014: Patriots' Jimmy Garoppolo (10) tosses a pass under the watchful eye of Tom Brady (12). The New England Patriots held their Mini Camp at the Patriots Practice Facility in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images)
RICHMOND VA, AUGUST 4: New England quarterback Tom Brady (12), left, fires off a pass as back up quarterback's Ryan Mallett (15), center, and Jimmy Garoppolo (10) wait their turn during day 12 of the Washington Redskins training camp practicing with the New England Patriots in Richmond VA, August 4, 2014. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 29: New England Patriots quarterbacks Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo head on to the field for pre-game warm-ups before they played the Kansas City Chiefs on September 29, 2014. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - OCTOBER 5: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, Matthew Slater and Jimmy Garoppolo warm up before the game between the New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014 at Gillette Stadium. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 and Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots take the field prior to Super Bowl XLVIII at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 30: Quarterbacks Tom Brady #12 and Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the New England Patriots take the field for warm ups to the NFL game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on November 30, 2014 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Patriots 26-21. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
February 4, 2015: The Patriots quarterback tandem, Jimmy Garoppolo and Tom Brady. The New England Patriots paraded through the streets of Boston to celebrate their Super Bowl victory. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)
27 DEC 2015: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) talks with New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) prior to the game between the New York Jets and the New England Patriots played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford,NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire) (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - AUGUST 3: Quarerbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Tom Brady hung out after practice to work together on some long passes. The New England Patriots continued their Training Camp on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. on August 3, 2016. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JULY 29: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, and Jimmy Garoppolo managed smile as they were back at it during passing drills on the second day of New England Patriots training camp at the practice fields at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on July 29, 2016. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 9: Quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo #10 and Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots talk on the sidelines during the final minutes of the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 9, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Patriots defeated the Browns 33-13. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 30: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 and Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots warms up before the game against the Buffalo Bills on October 30, 2016 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. New England defeats Buffalo 41-25. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 13: Tom Brady #12 and Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the New England Patriots warm up before a game against the Seattle Seahawks at Gillette Stadium on November 13, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 5: Jimmy Garoppolo congratulates Tom Brady after the Patriots' win. The Atlanta Falcons play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston on Feb. 5, 2017. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 07: Quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Tom Brady of the New England Patriots during the Victory Parade through the streets of Boston on February 7, 2017, in Boston, Massachusetts to celebrate winning Super Bowl LI. (Photo by Richard Cashin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JULY 28: New England Patriots quarterbacks Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett run an agility course during the second day of training camp at the Gillette Stadium practice field in Foxborough, Mass., July 28, 2017. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 31: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the New England Patriots and Tom Brady #12 react before a preseason game with the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium on August 31, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 25, 2017: Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws a pass to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 prior to a preseason game on August 25, 2017 against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. New England won 30-28. (Photo by: 2017 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 22: Tom Brady #12 and Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the New England Patriots walk through the tunnel before a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Gillette Stadium on October 22, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The Patriots have had success with second-round picks, but Garoppolo and the 49ers' winning ways keep diminishing the value of the pick. The 49ers were winless when they acquired Garoppolo, but they've now won five of their last six games, turning the second-round pick that goes to the Patriots into the 39th overall pick. Another win in Week 17 could push the pick down further.

There's also the question of how much sand is left in Brady's hourglass. Brady hasn't shown any significant signs of slowing down, but at 40, he only has so many years left. The Patriots will certainly carefully look into future replacements, with the hope that that replacement can learn under Brady for several years, but it undoubtedly hurts to see their first planned replacement quarterback excelling elsewhere.

Of course, four games is a small sample size, and the 49ers aren't playing for much. Defenses will adjust to Garoppolo, but thus far, he's shown qualities of being a franchise quarterback. In Week 16, Garoppolo helped the 49ers shred the Jacksonville Jaguars, the NFL's best defense, 44-33. The Jaguars had not conceded more than 30 points in a season, yet it was Garoppolo, who threw two touchdowns and dove for one himself, who exposed them.

He's Brady-esque in the pocket but his mobility gives him more of a playground style than his former mentor.

14 PHOTOS
Jimmy Garoppolo with the San Francisco 49ers
See Gallery
Jimmy Garoppolo with the San Francisco 49ers
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) warms up before the regular season game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA (Photo by Samuel Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up prior to their game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 and Carlos Hyde #28 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) looks on during an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) looks on from the sidelines during an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) walks back to the locker room during an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 5: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers looks over plays on his wristband in the locker room prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. The Cardinals defeated the 49ers 20-10. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) warms up with the football prior to the start of an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) warms up with the football on the sidelines during an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers enters the game late in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers in action against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers drops back to pass against the Seattle Seahawks late in their NFL football game at Levi's Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. The Seahawks won the game 24-13. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

And as SB Nation's Geoff Schwartz noted, Garoppolo already excels at looking off the defense and then throwing the other way.

Garoppolo will be expensive for the 49ers this offseason. They'll have the option to give him the franchise tag, but his strong play over the last four weeks only gives him more leverage in contract negotiations.

However, with an offseason to further learn the offense, plus more help on both sides of the ball, there's reason to believe Garoppolo can improve. To land a franchise quarterback with a second-round pick has been worth it for the 49ers, and perhaps a tough pill for the Patriots to swallow.

NOW WATCH: Shaq reveals why he never tried the underhand free throw technique

See Also:

SEE ALSO: The biggest NFL Draft busts of the last 15 years

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.