The New England Patriots might not be making a run at a reunion with their once heir apparent at the quarterback position after all.
New England is "not pursuing" a trade with the 49ers for Jimmy Garoppolo, ESPN's Jordan Schultz reported on Sunday citing league sources.
NFL teams believe the 49ers are "bluffing" with their reported desire to hold onto Garoppolo after trading up to the No. 3 overall draft pick on Friday, The Athletic's Jeff Howe reported Friday.
"[Other] teams believe the 2014 second-rounder is available or at least will become available once the Niners stop bluffing," Howe wrote Friday. "The 49ers-Dolphins trade will lead to teams continuing to check on Garoppolo’s availability."
The 49ers seemingly made the blockbuster trade -- sending a trio of first-round picks including this year's No. 12 selection and a third-round compensation pick to the Miami Dolphins for No. 3 overall -- in order to ensure they'd have a chance to take one this year's top quarterback prospects. Trevor Lawrence is all but guaranteed to go No. 1 overall, but there are five signal-callers in this year's draft class who are expected to go inside the top 10 selections.
Whether they would want to have the quarterback they pick start in Week 1 or begin the season as a backup to Garoppolo remains to be seen, but if the veteran gets moved, that would make it pretty clear that the 49ers would have the rookie atop the depth chart right away.
NBC Sports Bay Area's Jennifer Lee Chan confirmed through league sources Friday that the 49ers had no plans to trade Garoppolo, after ESPN's Adam Schefter quoted a 49ers source saying "he's our guy."
The most likely scenario now that the 49ers have the third pick is the team taking one of those first-round grade QBs -- Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance and Mac Jones -- that could be available and keeping Jimmy G as a bridge.
Garoppolo is signed through 2022, but could be cut by June 1 with just $2.8 in dead money being left on the 49ers' books (per OverTheCap). After the 2021 season, it would be just a $1.4 million dead money hit by the same date next year.
The Patriots already have brought Cam Newton back on an incentive-laden one-year contract, and seem primed to commit to him for another season as QB1. Never say never, but it isn't likely we'll see Jimmy G back in a New England uniform when Week 1 rolls around.