Some news and notes on this Friday:
1) The drum to bring Jimmy Garoppolo to Foxboro continues beating on, with ESPN’s Diana Russini putting out a report on Thursday where she believes things aren’t quite dead there yet.
Russini appeared on ESPN’s “Get Up” on Thursday and discussed the Patriots current quarterback situation, which she believes isn’t completely set in stone and that the team is still looking into bringing him back.
“Just recently I was talking to somebody in the league who I really trust. He’s got good information. He said, ‘Do not take the Jimmy Garoppolo trade off the table,’” Russini said via 985TheSportsHub.com. “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, ‘Oh well if we all know about that, that probably won’t happen.’ But there is definitely a tone in the league that it could still go down.”
Obviously, a lot of this talk this offseason has centered around the possibility of bringing back Garoppolo, but the 49ers have mostly rebutted that possibility. The primary reason is that if they move Garoppolo, they’re left with no one to guide their team in 2021 As a result, most believe San Francisco would at least need an upgrade in order for that to happen.
After all, they have an extremely talented roster and are one season removed from playing in the Super Bowl. That, coupled with the fact that Garoppolo is 22-8 as a starter when he’s been on the field, and it doesn’t make a lot of sense to move on from him until they’ve potentially figured out who would be their QB moving forward.
Even if the 49ers draft a QB next month, that likely won’t free Garoppolo up, at least for this year. Putting a team that loaded in the hands of a rookie just hasn’t played out well historically, so it doesn’t make sense for them to do it this season. As Jas King of Niners Nation points out, out of the 110 quarterbacks to start in 55 total Super Bowls, none has been a true rookie. That would probably mean that even if San Francisco does take a quarterback, it’s likely that they’ll keep the offense in Garoppolo’s hands in what should be a make-or-break year for him.
The only other scenario seems to be a move for Deshaun Watson, but given his current legal woes, that’s beginning to look even less likely.
Needless to say, while the whispers may continue, the likelihood just doesn’t look good. Things could certainly change, but if you’re hoping to see Garoppolo back in New England, that appears to be at least another year away, if at all.
2) The Patriots secured another important piece of their offense on Thursday, with ESPN’s Adam Schefter reporting that fullback Jakob Johnson signed his exclusive rights tender to stay with the team.
Johnson appeared in all 16 games in 2020 and played a role in the resurgence of New England’s ground game. He’s been versatile, with the team using him on blocking situations as well as in the passing game, with Johnson catching 8 passes for 35-yards along with a touchdown, with his lone score of the season coming in the home opener against Miami.
According to spotrac.com, the former standout from the University of Tennessee agreed to a deal that appears to be worth $850,000 for this season and he’ll be an unrestricted free agent after this year.
3) After being let go by the Titans this offseason, it appears Malcolm Butler has finally found a new home.
According to Adam Schefter, the veteran defensive back is headed to Arizona after being offered a contract with the Cardinals, adding some depth to their secondary.
Butler’s deal is reportedly for one year and is worth $6-million.
The former Patriot originally signed a 5-year, $61 million deal with the Titans in 2018 but became a cap casualty earlier this month and had since been looking for work. Fortunately for Butler, he’ll have another opportunity to re-establish himself out in the desert as he tries to help a Cardinals team looking to improve coming off an 8-8 finish in 2020.
4) Everyone should have been excited by the return of David Andrews, who was a key component of the Patriots offensive line in 2020.
His re-signing has certainly been one of the bright spots of the offseason and he recently sat down with Scott Zolak in an interview on Patriots.com and said that while he knows the club is in rebuilding mode, he’s excited to be a part of it.
“It’s definitely the start of turning this thing around,” said Andrews, who signed a four-year deal to stay here. “Part of the reason why I wanted to come back is to right this ship, get it to where we need to be going. It’s all kind of said and done if we don’t really put the work in and go back there and get this thing rolling, build on it and just become the best team we can be.”
“This is our home, our heart’s here, and I’m excited to get back and go to work.”
His impact was big in 2020 and the numbers certainly back that up. In 2019, the Patriots averaged 3.34-yards per gain on runs up the middle while Adams was sidelined after being diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs, to 4.16 yards in 2020. The difference inside was noticeable last season and the fact he’s going to be part of the offense for the foreseeable future is definitely good news.
5) Meanwhile, another player who is happy to be back is offensive tackle, Trent Brown.
After being acquired in a trade that brought him back to New England this offseason, Brown is thrilled at the opportunity to be back playing for a team that saw him turn his career around.
Brown said his time with the Raiders was frustrating primarily due to injuries that he felt were bad luck. However, he’s glad to be back in Foxboro and is looking forward to this season.
“Honestly, I just felt like ever since I left, nothing has gone right for me,” Brown said via Mark Daniels. “I [have] been experiencing little, small nagging injuries. I have had to experience a lot of time without ball. I wasn’t really feeling the place of work, I guess you could say. No hard feelings to them or anything. I guess you could just say it wasn’t a good fit.
“I’ve worn a lot of jerseys in my life but I have never been more proud than when I put on a Patriots jersey.”
The veteran lineman said that one of the things that made him appreciate the game was the fact during his first stint, he realized what it takes to be great and that’s the thing that separates playing for the Patriots with everyone else.
“When I became a Patriot,” Brown said, “I always loved football, but I began to appreciate what it takes — the actual time, effort and sacrifices you have to make. And, really, it was fun to me.
“Some people don’t like it but I love it, honestly. And I just think that it is where I need to be. I am happy with the organization. I was happiest when I was there. I have never had more fun playing football in my life. Glad to be back.”
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Arizona Cardinals Bill Belichick David Andrews Deshaun Watson Jakob Johnson Jimmy Garoppolo Malcolm Butler New England Patriots San Francisco 49ers Trent Brown