The Jimmy Garappolo Trade
The NFL Trade Deadline was crazy.
Typically, the deadline—held midway through the season—is a blip on the radar, a lifeless event that only die-hard NFL fans look forward to. But instead of bottom-of-the-roster placeholders being shipped off for conditional seventh-rounders, we got a fun deadline that featured a plethora of deals.
A $100 million player was salary-dumped to a feisty contender in the Jaguars; the Panthers’ No. 1 WR was dealt to the surging Bills; and, most importantly, the 49ers found their franchise QB in Tom Brady’s heir apparent.
That deal—the Niners’ second-rounder for Jimmy Garoppolo—will not only impact San Francisco and New England, it’ll reverberate throughout the league, shaping how the NFL will look for the next five years.
What it means for the 49ers
The winless Niners have been borderline unwatchable since “mutually agreeing” to part ways (aka, Jim Harbaugh was fired). With this trade, the 49ers have become kind of fun to watch. Pairing a potential franchise QB with one of the finest offensive minds alive is a dream come true for all parties: Garoppolo, the Niners and their fans.
And they only gave up a second-rounder for him. Garoppolo’s limited snaps made him enticing, but it also constrains the value of the young passer. Sure, the 49ers are giving up a potential top-35 pick in a talented draft, but this opens up so many possibilities for general manager John Lynch in the offseason.
Assuming the Niners lock up Garoppolo to a long-term deal or franchise tag, the Niners will go into the NFL Draft with a top-five pick and the QB position already filled. Expect the Niners to mirror the Titans’ trade back with the Rams in 2016 that netted Tennessee multiple picks.
The 49ers will enter the offseason armed with their QB of the future, a top-five pick and approximately $100 million in cap space. Watch out.
What it means for the Patriots
The trade of Garoppolo signals that, yes, Tom Brady and the Patriots really believe that the QB can play into his mid-40s.
With his peculiar diet and deep desire to win, Brady has actually gotten better with age— which is ironic, as Brady probably isn’t allowed to drink wine on his diet.
The Pats—who had Brady, Garoppolo and Brissett in the offseason—are now down to a lone 40-year-old QB on the roster. How bad do the Pats wish they still had Brissett on their team?
The Patriots, of course, will be fine. They always are. And now they have more draft assets to fill the massive holes on their defense.
What it means for the rest of the NFL
Ever since Shanahan signed the dotted line and became the 49ers coach, he was linked to Kirk Cousins. Everyone believed it was a foregone conclusion that the Washington QB would sign with the Niners in the offseason. Now that San Francisco is out of the Cousins sweepstakes, it opens up the rest of the NFL—a very QB-needy league—to enter the market this offseason. Cousins won’t be able to sign a blank check like he would have in San Fran, but he’ll have plenty of options in a few months.
As many as ten teams could be interested in Cousins if he hits the market, but whoever misses out on him will surely look to the NFL Draft.
Once lauded as the best QB class in more than a decade, the 2018 QBs are looking worse and worse every Saturday. And the NFL has noticed. The 49ers clearly didn’t believe in any of the big names—Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson—or they wouldn’t have traded for Garoppolo.
This massive deadline deal will alter the future of multiple franchises. All that for just a second-round pick!