Winners and losers of the Jimmy Garoppolo trade

A blockbuster overnight, as San Francisco fired it's shot six months earlier than expected and grabbed their quarterback of the future

During the summer there were rumors that New England were offered a first round pick for the services of their #2 quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. They turned all offers down.

Last night they accepted an offer of a second-round pick in 2018 from the San Francisco 49ers for their young passer. Here are the winners and losers of that deal.

Winner: The 2017 San Francisco 49ers

The 9ers offense has been disgustingly poor this year. Bouncing between Brian Hoyer and CJ Beathard has not done anyone any good, and for all of Kyle Shanahan’s genius he hasn’t been able to coax a threatening offense out of the squad he has. Well, now he has a better quarterback.

We saw in 2016, during six quarters of action, that Garoppolo definitely had a future as a starting quarterback in the NFL. Of course, when you’re on the same depth chart as Tom Brady playing time is going to be limited.

Waking up one day as a 6-2 Super Bowl favorite and going to sleep 0-8 is not a nice situation, but Garoppolo is now a starting quarterback for the rest of the season, and despite the difficulties of getting airdropped into a new offense, it will be a big improvement.

There is now a sense of interest and excitement about the remaining games on the 49ers schedule to see what Garoppolo can do, which is better than only having an audience of Carlos Hyde fantasy owners.

Loser: The New England Patriots’ post-Brady future

There have been many quarterbacks that have come in to be the “next guy after Brady”, but none looked as locked in to that position as Garoppolo. Even before his successful 2016 performances there was good evidence that he could be a viable option to take over should Brady retire.

Entering the 2017 season there were speculations that it would be Brady’s final season. After all, he turned 40 in August.

With Brady on course for 5,000 yards and another elite offensive season it is clear he isn’t going anywhere, which meant Garoppolo had to if anything was going to come from his career. Losing a player like Garoppolo is damagingto the Patriots future, though that future may not come for another five years.

Winner: New England’s 2018 salary cap

One of the reasons Garoppolo had to go was that he was going to be a free agent after this season. If New England wanted to keep him, which undoubtedly they would, it would have cost a lot. They could have franchise tagged him, but that would have put roughly $26 million on the bench, or they could offer him a long term deal, but given the number of quarterback needy teams the battle for his signature would have been extremely tough. By trading him New England can replace Garoppolo on their 2018 roster with a cheaper player, saving them a lot of money to spend elsewhere.

Loser: San Francisco’s 2018 salary cap

Of course, the other end of that stick is that San Francisco are going to have to pay Garoppolo if they think  he is the guy. The second half of this season will now be an audition for Garoppolo, whereby the 49ers can decide if they want to tag him or offer him a competitive long-term deal. The 49ers cleared a lot of cap space in recent years, but signing a quarterback to an extension these days is very costly. While I doubt he will hit the $135 million of Matthew Stafford, it would be reasonable to expect something like a six-year, $100 million deal if they think Garoppolo is the guy for them.

The reason this will hurt the cap so much is that their other option was to draft someone, giving them five years of a very low-cost player. There are more than a few high-class QB prospects expected to enter the draft this year, and while drafting a quarterback high is no guarantee of quality, but it is very low-risk, and while that option is still open to them if Garoppolo bombs, the cost of a second-rounder is not nothing for a team in desperate need of help everywhere.

Loser: Kirk Cousins

Cousins is on the franchise tag for the second year in a row in Washington, and while that is giving him a very healthy paycheck it means that in 2018 he will once again be a free agent. A huge chunk of is leverage with Washington was the expectation that San Francisco and his old offensive coordinator would come calling. With Garoppolo now under Shanahan’s wing, Cousins’ best landing spot is seemingly gone and a lot of his fiscal leverage is too.

Winner: Jimmy Garoppolo

Finally, the obvious winner is Jimmy G himself. Freed from Brady’s enormous shadow, he has the opportunity to write his own legend. There was never going to be a place for him in the annals of New England lore. Even if he ended up being the Steve Young to Brady’s Joe Montana, it would be Brady to whom statues were built. While the 49ers, as I have just stated, have their own iconic quarterbacks it has been long enough that there is now space for another. With Kyle Shanahan capable of being his Josh McDaniels and crafting an offense around his strengths, he is an great position to succeed and win.

Garoppolo has two Super Bowl rings, but now he has the chance to win one for himself.

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Toby Durant

Deputy Editor at RealSport. A life-long gamer, I have been with RealSport since 2016 and spent time covering the world of Formula 1, NFL, and football for the site before expanding into esports.


I lead the site's coverage of motorsport titles with a particular focus on Formula 1. I also lead RealSport's Madden content while occasionally dipping my toe into Football Manager and esports coverage of Gfinity Series events.