Jimmy Garoppolo has taken 235 regular-season snaps and 422 more in the preseason since the New England Patriots made the former Eastern Illinois quarterback a second-round pick in 2014. Those 657 snaps weren't enough for Garoppolo to prove that he can excel over the long run as a highly paid NFL starter. However, they could be enough for QB-needy teams to prefer him over 2017 college prospects with zero experience in pro-style offenses such as the one Garoppolo ran impressively as Tom Brady's replacement this past season.
Only the Patriots know to what extent Garoppolo is available via trade. Although there is no league consensus on that front, conversations with five NFL decision-makers produced some agreement over what Garoppolo should command in a trade and which teams might be most likely to pursue a deal. With these league insiders' input, I've put together potential Garoppolo trade offers for six QB-needy teams, followed by the insiders' thoughts on which proposal would make the most sense from New England's standpoint.
Three of the five insiders thought teams interested in Garoppolo should be willing to part with a draft choice (or choices) worth a selection in the middle or late first round this year. The two other insiders placed the value higher. All agreed that desperate teams could wind up paying more, though one pushed back hard against the idea that Garoppolo's value should align with what Minnesota gave up for Sam Bradford before the 2016 season.
Of course, these are tough projections to make without knowing what New England and other teams think about Garoppolo in relation to draft-eligible quarterbacks and potential veteran free agents, but there is no shortage of opinions. I've included lower and higher potential offers for six teams based on what could make sense.
Lower offer: 2017 second-rounder and 2017 fifth-rounder
Higher offer: 2017 second-rounder and 2018 first-rounder
Coach Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch both recently signed six-year contracts. They can afford to move more methodically than some other coach/GM combinations. That is why the proposed price is lower for the 49ers than it is for some other needy teams, even though San Francisco is perceived as desperate for quarterback help.
Acquiring Garoppolo could be the 49ers' first step in loosely replicating the setup Shanahan enjoyed while coordinating the Atlanta Falcons' offense. With their version of Matt Ryan in place via Garoppolo, they could maneuver within the first round to select Clemson receiver Mike Williams, a less blazing version of Julio Jones.
San Francisco would initially offer less than the first- and fourth-round picks Minnesota gave Philadelphia for Sam Bradford. But remember: That was a 2016 trade involving 2017 picks. This initial proposal for Garoppolo would involve current-year selections worth the equivalent of a single late first-round choice.
"The Bradford trade was one of the biggest panic moves of all time, and you can say it made sense for Minnesota to do it, but I did not think that was the case, and I don't think that becomes the market," one insider said. "Philly basically got bailed out by a team that was desperate."
Desperation could again be a factor.