Almost three years ago to the day, Bill Belichick made the surprising decision to send Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for a second-round draft pick.
At the time, Garoppolo was expected to eventually take over for Tom Brady as the New England Patriots' franchise quarterback. Bill Belichick and the Patriots opted to go in another direction and instead work out a deal with 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.
Shanahan fondly recalled his trade talks with Belichick on Wednesday.
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"I know Bill was a big fan [of Garoppolo], and I mean, I enjoyed talking to him about it," Shanahan told reporters. "It helped me out with stuff, stuff that will probably stay between Bill and I, but he was a great guy to deal with. It's always hard to get trades done, but when you deal with someone who's just about football and pretty simple and everything else, it's easy to get stuff done. That’s why it's really fun dealing with someone like Bill when you're trying to make two teams better.
"I didn't know a ton about Jimmy before we got him. I mean, I remember the draft process, but he hadn't played in a lot of games. So, I mean I knew how talented he was through the draft process and the three games or whatever he had played in at the time, and then just what you hear about people. So, I've learned a lot being together with him for a little over three years."
Garoppolo led the 49ers to Super Bowl LIV in his first full season as the team's starting QB, but they fell to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Jimmy G will return to Foxboro on Sunday when the Patriots and 49ers face off at 4:25 p.m. ET.