The 49ers shook up April’s 2021 NFL Draft on Friday and landed in peak quarterback territory, but it may not mean the end of Jimmy Garoppolo in San Francisco — at least not yet.
“Jimmy is here to stay. He’s our guy this year,” a 49ers source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Of course, the wording of that vote of confidence naturally raises the question: What about next year?
The 29-year-old Garoppolo is under contract with the 49ers through 2022, but that hasn’t stopped the speculation about a potential return to the Patriots. That noise will only get louder if the 49ers plan to use their new No. 3 pick on a quarterback, like Ohio State’s Justin Fields or North Dakota State’s Trey Lance.
The 49ers moved up the board Friday by trading the No. 12-overall pick, a 2021 third-rounder and first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 to the Dolphins for the No. 3 pick, according to multiple reports.
The Patriots, meanwhile, have re-signed Cam Newton, but the possibility of Garoppolo still looms nearly three and a half years after he left New England in a trade because Tom Brady wasn’t going anywhere. Of course, Brady has since gone to the Buccaneers, leaving the Patriots with a hole that they could still look address in a trade or in the draft.
Until either the Patriots or 49ers make a move that rules it out, there will still be dots connected between Garoppolo and New England.
“Just recently I was talking to somebody in the league who I really trust. He’s got good information,” ESPN’s Dianna Russini said Thursday on “Get Up!”
“He said, ‘Do not take the Jimmy Garoppolo trade off the table.’ That is something New England is still sniffing out.’ Bill [Belichick] doesn’t like to put his cards out on the table so most think if we all know about that it probably won’t happen, but there is definitely a tone in the league that it could still go down.”