When the New England Patriots re-signed Cam Newton at the start of free agency, most analysts believed that marked the end of their reported interested in a reunion with former second-round pick Jimmy Garoppolo.
Well, the links between the Patriots and Garoppolo returned with a bang last week when the 49ers moved up nine spots to the No. 3 overall pick in a trade with the Dolphins, putting them in fantastic position to select their quarterback of the future.
This blockbuster has fueled questions about Garoppolo’s future with the 49ers, though they reportedly have zero intentions of trading him this year. So they say.
That, however, could change on a dime if the 29-year-old isn’t fond of being a stopgap option until said rookie is ready to start and demands to be shipped out of town.
While it remains to be seen if the Patriots are actually keen on bringing back Garoppolo, fans should get a load of these damning comments made by former tight end Jermaine Wiggins, who spent two years in Foxborough during his playing career (though, of course, not on Jimmy G’s Pats).
During an appearance on “The Greg Hill Show,” Wiggins touched on how certain Patriots players used to second-guess Garoppolo’s ability and whether they could depend on him to stay on the field for a full season.
It sounds like Jimmy Garoppolo’s teammates didn’t trust him to stay healthy during his Patriots tenure.
This is a pretty eye-opening scoop from Wiggins, who retired in 2006 and was never with the Patriots during Garoppolo’s three-year run. However, these comments indicate he has close ties to the organization and regularly speaks to some players who used to be teammates with the veteran quarterback in New England.
Looking back at it, these anonymous players were spot on with their reservations about Garoppolo’s durability, or lack thereof. After all, the Eastern Illinois product missed time with a shoulder injury as soon as he was thrust into the spotlight back in 2016 after Tom Brady dropped his appeal of his four-game suspension stemming from Deflategate.
Since then, Garoppolo’s injury woes have worsened tenfold. After being traded to the 49ers and subsequently signing a five-year, $137.5 million contract, which included $48.7 million in guaranteed money, he’s managed to appear in more than six games just once over four seasons.
Pundits and analysts will point to the 2019 season, in which Garoppolo played in every game and helped lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl, as justification for that mammoth contract. However, he was largely inconsistent during that run and often played second-fiddle to San Francisco’s elite rushing attack.
We’re not sure if Wiggins’ “sources” still play for the Patriots, but if their alleged trepidation about Garoppolo’s health holds any semblance of validity, it would be pretty shocking if New England was as interested in reuniting with the seven-year veteran as reports suggest.