This was never about the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick or Josh McDaniels. Jimmy Garoppolo’s desire has been to get the opportunity to show he’s every bit the quarterback as any other player playing the position in the NFL. So when the Pats attempted to work out a deal this offseason that would keep Garoppolo in Foxboro for the foreseeable future, Garoppolo wouldn’t put pen to paper and make it happen, a source says. In order to play in this league, the fourth-year pro was pretty certain he’d have to go somewhere else.
That thought process was solidified this summer, when the man he’s been chasing, Tom Brady, showed no signs of slowing down. Though Garoppolo didn’t expect his change of scenery to happen the day before the trade deadline in the middle of the 2017 season, he’s hardly unhappy about the trade.
“He has the potential to write his own story in San Fran,” a source told me a short time ago. “That’s exciting for him, for his family.”
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The 49ers have “lusted” after Garoppolo for some time, and though reports are trade discussions between the two teams began Monday morning, the soon to be 26-year old has known for some time that San Francisco and - in particular - head coach Kyle Shanahan were keen on Garoppolo’s skill set and long-term potential. That’s why there’s a strong feeling that the young signal caller will have himself a contract extension to stay in the Bay Area long before he hits free agency. The Niners certainly are aware of what it will take to keep the former Eastern Illinois product in their system for years to come.
As for how the Pats view Garoppolo, the very idea that they attempted in earnest to make something happen to keep Garoppolo for years to come is indicative of the strong internal feelings that had for the player. I talked to a pair of sources on the coaching staff and both said there was never any doubt about No. 10, one telling me “He’s got a chance to be a terrific player,” while the other said, “I’m happy for him. He’s worked hard to get this chance. I’m certain he’ll make the most of it.”
The Pats held out hope that Garoppolo would make it happen here in Foxboro, but circumstances and the play of Brady, made that impossible in the end.