Patriots deals make it tough to track return on Garoppolo trade

Patriots deals make it tough to track return on Garoppolo trade

The Patriots started Friday night with the No. 43 and No. 63 picks in the second round. They had no third-rounder after swinging a trade earlier in the day with the Niners for a tackle named Trent Brown. 

That No. 43 selection made its way to New England via a different trade with San Francisco. You might remember it. The Patriots sent their backup quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, to the West Coast last season and picked up San Fran's second-rounder in 2018 -- which eventually became No. 43 -- in return.

But after what happened Friday night, it's not that easy to pin down the precise return on the Garoppolo trade.

All eyes were on that No. 43 pick because of what it represented. Trade away Tom Brady's successor for a second-round pick, and you have to make the most of it, the thinking went. 

Surely the Patriots felt the same way. But instead of grabbing a player with No. 43 on Friday, they made a trade.

They moved down the board by dealing No. 43 to the Lions for No. 51 and No. 117. Then they traded No. 51 for a future second-rounder and No. 105.

So, for a moment in time, the Garoppolo trade rendered the Patriots a 2019 second-rounder, as well as No. 105 and No. 117 in the 2018 draft. 

Got it? Jimmy G. for a second and two fourths. 

Then . . . another deal. The Patriots traded up from No. 63 -- remember that was one of their picks to start the night -- and No. 117 for Tampa Bay's No. 56 overall pick in this year's draft. 

With the No. 56 pick, the Patriots took versatile Florida defensive back Duke Dawson

OK. Take a deep breath. 

Let's figure out the tally on the Garoppolo trade as of late Friday night. 

NINERS RECEIVE: JIMMY GAROPPOLO

PATRIOTS RECEIVE: 2019 SECOND-ROUND PICK, 2018 FOURTH-ROUND PICK (NO. 105) . . . plus a little extra juice to help them move up to get Duke Dawson. 

How long will this shell game continue? It could go until the end of the second round next year. Maybe longer. They could always trade that 2019 second for another to-be-determined haul. 

The bottom line is there won't be one face to slap on the cork board alongside Garoppolo's when talking about that 2017 out-of-nowhere deal. But it looks like there will be a couple. We'll see. And Duke Dawson just became part of a very convoluted answer to a very simple trivia question: What did the Patriots get in return for Jimmy Garoppolo?

UPDATE: The haul for Garoppolo got a little more cloudy on Saturday...

* No. 105 was traded for No. 114 and No. 178 
* No. 114 was traded for a 2019 third-rounder
* No. 178 became LB Christian Sam

The final Garoppolo trade tally (for now): 2019 second-rounder, 2019 third-rounder, linebacker Christian Sam and . . . some juice to help the Patriots trade up to land corner Duke Dawson.
 

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Blizzard of QB money highlights -- again -- the obscene bargain Brady's been for Pats

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Blizzard of QB money highlights -- again -- the obscene bargain Brady's been for Pats

Free agency officially starts on Wednesday and a passel of passable quarterbacks will make more money than they deserve to make.

The only thing rivaling the absurd cost-benefit equation NFL teams engage in when paying "he might be good" quarterbacks? Higher education in America.

Drew Brees taking a hometown discount that will pay him $50 million over two seasons ($27 million guaranteed) to stay with the Saints brings into greater relief the obscene bargain Tom Brady has cut for the Patriots over the years.

Brees' deal won't even make him the NFL's highest-paid quarterback based on annual compensation.

That's Jimmy Garoppolo -- he of the seven career starts -- who signed a five-year, $137.5 million deal with the Niners with $41.7 million guaranteed. Matthew Stafford and Derek Carr will also outpace Brees. Andrew Luck is in a virtual dead-heat with Brees at $24.594 million.

Garoppolo, Stafford and Carr have never won a playoff game. Luck is 3-3 in playoff games but hasn't seen the postseason since 2014 and has played in 22 of the Colts last 48 games.

Brees, who's never been shy about taking what's coming to him, has at least produced. He's going to complete 70 percent of his passes, have about a 3-to-1 TD/INT ratio, be around 8 YPA and be a leader on field and off. The Saints have never been able to look at Brees and say, "He's why we didn't win the Super Bowl."

And yet, despite coming into the NFL a year after Brady, Brees will have made $209 million for playing football by the end of 2018 while Brady will be at $212 million career earnings.

For the hell of it, throw in Brady's 37 career playoff games compared to Brees' 13. A season-and-a-half of playoff football MORE than Brees has played. All for $3 million more. The Patriots probably made that back in parking during the playoffs.

Brady is currently in the final two years of the contract he renegotiated after the 2015 season. By the time the contract ends in 2019, he will have made $60 million for four seasons.

And now Kirk Cousins is signing a fully-guaranteed three-year, $84 million with the Vikings. That will ratchet up Cousins' five-year earnings stretching back to 2016 to $130.633 million. Because he was franchised the past two seasons, those will have been fully guaranteed.

Cousins has never won a playoff game. He's 24-23-1 as a starter. And he was the prize free-agent quarterback. He's now the highest-paid player in football at $28 million, beating out Garoppolo by a nose.

There are more WTF? agreements to come. Case Keenum, who played nobly for the Vikings before coming undone in the NFC Championship Game, is signing with Denver. He'll make $36 million over two years, just a snuggle below Brady's $20 million per season. At least it's half the length of the four-year, $72 million deal Brock Osweiler got in 2016, a deal that will be the gold standard for taking a flamethrower to American currency.

None of this is breaking news. Even though there were occasions when Brady was the highest-paid player in the league by average salary or guarantees, his pay has never been commensurate with what his value would be if he were on the open market.

And any moron with opposing thumbs and working eyesight can read myriad stories about how out of whack quarterback salaries are, have been and always will be. The greater point -- as free agency looms and Patriots left tackle Nate Solder is being courted by multiple teams -- is what the Patriots will do with the money Brady saves them this year?

With more than $20 million in cap room, no obvious successor to Solder in house, Rob Gronkowski mulling retirement and last year's most productive back -- Dion Lewis -- on the open market as well, where will the Patriots' priorities lie when it comes to spreading around the money Brady's helped save them over the years?

Meanwhile, for those who thought the Patriots should have just pulled the ripcord on Brady and kept Garoppolo, the Niners will take a $37 million cap hit for Garoppolo this year. Brady's is $22 million -- the highest it's ever been.

Brady's not just the greatest quarterback in NFL history. He's also been the NFL's greatest bargain.

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Report: Richard Sherman signs with 49ers

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Report: Richard Sherman signs with 49ers

Richard Sherman has been one of the most dominant cornerbacks in the NFL for quite some time.

He was one of the driving forces behind Seattle's 'legion of boom'.

With several recent moves, the 'legion of boom' has been broken apart, and Richard Sherman was released from Seattle.

There are several questions surrounding his health and particuarly the exact status of both achilles. Most of the league seems to be interested in the veteran cornerback.

There must be enough confidence in the status of his health.

According to Adam Schefter, the San Francisco 49ers have signed Richard Sherman to a three year deal.

Schefter previously reported that Sherman would be working on a deal if San Francisco was satisfied with the status of his health.

According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, the deal is for $39m with a signing bonus of $5m.

So in the end neither Aqib Talib or Richard Sherman will end up heading to Foxboro.

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