More information about the Patriots trade of Jimmy Garoppolo to the Niners has come to light in the past couple of days.
The Browns were well known to have shown strong interest in the potential franchise-altering quarterback, so much so, that they may have offered up the first round pick they acquired from the Texans. That pick was acquired in a trade for the rights to pick Deshaun Watson in last year’s NFL draft.
According to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, recently terminated Browns VP, Sashi Brown was willing to offer up a package far exceeding what the Patriots received from San Francisco.|
I know that Brown was willing to part with Houston’s first-round pick and other goodies. He would have been willing to help Belichick shop around for a backup quarterback to help the trade work.
At the time of those initial trade talks with the Browns, the Texans pick didn’t look very impressive with Watson showing serious potential under center in Houston. Things unraveled once Watson went down with a torn ACL that caused him to miss the rest of the season. The Texans slid down the standings leaving the Browns now holding the 4th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Many have posited that Belichick wouldn’t trade Garoppolo to Cleveland due to a grudge he’s been holding from his time as the franchise’s head coach. Of course, that didn’t prevent him from making trades for Jabaal Sheard or Barkevious Mingo in past seasons. This idea seems implausible.
Local radio show hosts think Belichick sent him to a good team so he could look at Robert Kraft and say “I told you so.” Belichick has certainly shown he’s willing to be a little vindictive- see Jets departure- but his situation in New England appears beyond stable compared to the Jets coaching merry-go-round in the late 90’s.
I hink there was a combination of factors at play here.
The first of which has to do with Agent Don Yee, who represents Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Julian Edelman. Yee and Brady alike have often been amenable to team-friendly contracts with the Patriots. Edelman also took a team-friendly incentive based four-year-deal back in 2014. As we all know, this has been advantageous to the Patriots dynastic run over the years, so it seems hard to believe Belichick would toss Yee’s third Patriots client into football hell by trading him to the Browns regardless of how he may feel about the Cleveland organization.
Trading Garoppolo to the NFC rather than risking the chances he ends up in New York or Denver a couple of seasons down the road is a smart football decision inside of the business decision of keeping the greatest QB of all-time in Foxboro.
The Patriots didn’t receive the best return possible in the trade but they didn’t lose every facet of the deal as some have claimed.
The move deviated from Belichick’s typical strategy of football first while getting out ahead of an aging veteran’s decline. He made an exception to the rule on this one. He may or may not have been forced to by his boss.
Don’t expect it to become a trend.