The conversation around Jimmy Garoppolo's future with the 49ers has heightened in recent weeks, as subpar play and an ankle injury forcing the team to place him on injured reserve has led many to wonder whether he has played his final game in a San Francisco uniform.
Garoppolo originally was acquired in a trade with the New England Patriots back in 2017, as the 49ers sent a second-round draft pick in return. ESPN's Bill Barnwell recently wrote about potential landing spots for Jimmy G if the 49ers chose to go in another direction next season, and explained why he believes returning to his former team is the "most logical" fit for Garoppolo.
"There would be one team that looms as an obvious fit for Garoppolo, of course," Barnwell writes. "The Patriots will have more cap space than the 49ers and don't have a solution under contract for 2021. Cam Newton and Brian Hoyer are both free agents after the season, leaving Jarrett Stidham as the only quarterback under contract. They have publicly suggested that they think Stidham can be their quarterback of the future, but he has thrown four interceptions in 27 career pass attempts."
New England has struggled mightily on offense this season, as Newton has dealt with a COVID-19 positive test and inconsistent play from his supporting cast.
The 49ers are just 4-5 this season after a dominant 13-3 campaign in 2019, but the roster has been decimated by injuries, as Garoppolo is just one of the many players that have spent time on injured reserve.
Plenty of good options are available for the 49ers if they elect to pursue drafting a quarterback after this season, but if the 49ers wanted to trade Garoppolo, Barnwell does warn that the return won't be as fruitful as the second-round pick San Francisco sent back in 2017.
"It's difficult to imagine New England sending much more than a mid-to-late-round pick in return for him," Barnwell continued.
It would make for a heck of a story, but the 49ers haven't given any indication that they're going to be trading Garoppolo. If San Francisco does select a QB in next year's draft, New England could be one of the few suitors willing to make a trade for Jimmy G.