Jimmy Garoppolo has been mentioned frequently this offseason as a quarterback that the New England Patriots could have an interest in.
However, it doesn't seem like the San Francisco 49ers are willing to move on from their starter at this point.
Amid some rumblings that the 49ers had checked in on the availability of Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, The MMQB's Albert Breer put a damper on the possibility of the 49ers moving on from Garoppolo.
"I don't think a team like New England or anybody else can go into this offseason banking on the idea that Jimmy Garoppolo is going to be available," Breer said on NBC Sports Boston's Arbella Early Edition. "Maybe he will be, but I think for that to happen, the Niners are going to have to find somebody that they see as a clear upgrade from Jimmy Garoppolo."
This has been the rumor over the course of the offseason. And it makes sense. While the 49ers may be interested in getting an upgrade at the quarterback spot, they don't want to position themselves where they might end up downgrading the position instead.
Breer added that the Patriots can't sit and wait for Garoppolo to become available. Because if they bank on that strategy, they could be forced to wait a long time for a decision to be made.
"If the Patriots are sitting here and saying okay, we're going to wait for Jimmy Garoppolo to become available, they might be waiting until the draft and the Niners will see what's available then," Breer said. "Or they may be waiting for something that won't happen at all."
As nice as a Garoppolo return to New England would be, it doesn't look likely to happen. They should keep checking in with the 49ers in case they change their minds or land an upgrade, but the Pats have to have other plans in place to add talent at the position.
Whether it's by drafting a player early in the 2021 NFL Draft, signing a top free agent at the position, or trading for a guy like Marcus Mariota, the Patriots need to be proactive in their quarterback search. They can't afford to wait for a QB like Garoppolo to potentially shake loose.