Some news and notes on this Monday:
1) If Jimmy Garoppolo needed a little motivation, it appears he certainly got that after San Francisco officially made it clear that they’re now doubting his future with their franchise.
Following the move the club made with Miami to move up to the #3 overall spot in next month’s draft, it’s obvious that they’re going after their future quarterback. That likely puts the writing on the wall for Garoppolo in what’s clearly a make-or-break year, which could still put his future with the team in doubt even if he plays well.
Now, granted, going out and lighting things up this season and making a playoff run that includes a win over former teammate, Tom Brady, would make a strong case for San Francisco to possibly keep him. But it feels like the 49ers may have reached a point where the trust has eroded to the point of no return, which probably has Garoppolo sitting around somewhere completely stunned over what’s transpired.
While San Francisco now appears poised to take a quarterback, it’s doubtful the rookie would see time unless Garoppolo struggles this season so that likely will see him remain their starter. But beyond that, even with a terrific 2021 campaign, he may now be in a no-win situation, even more so since the 49ers will have a quarterback on a rookie deal. Garoppolo’s price tag would make him expendable since they’d need that money to keep their talented nucleus of players together.
It’s just surprising how quickly things all fell apart. But while we know about his injury issues, it’s hard not to wonder how much we don’t know behind the scenes that made things get to this point.
Needless to say, the big question now is what the future might hold for a guy whose stock has suddenly plummetted after things looked so bright for him just a couple of seasons ago. It’s just another reminder of how quickly things can change in the NFL, and this blockbuster deal certainly proves it.
The Patriots reportedly like Jones, but will he be available?
2) The next question is what this means about a potential return to Foxboro for Garoppolo after this season. That answer will come in another month when we see what the Patriots do in April’s draft.
The signs seem to point to the fact the Patriots have a couple of quarterbacks in mind, but the landscape has changed over the last month. Alabama’s Mac Jones was a player who just a month ago saw quite a few mocks having dubbed him as being available at #15 and even potentially lasting until late in the first round. Now, some seem to point to him being taken in the top 10, which would require the Patriots to have to trade up to get him if they want him.
With New England loaded with 10 draft picks, they certainly have the ammunition to move up if that’s the direction they decide to go. What happens there could be the indicator of what their plans are, as taking a QB would close the door on Garoppolo’s return, while changing course and targeting a player like Penn State’s Micah Parsons would tell us that they’ll be patient and explore that option next offseason.
Considering how loaded the roster currently is, the quarterback spot is the last domino to fall and it’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out. Quietly, Bill Belichick has a plan but it just seems like it might be a while before we know what that is.
3) Speaking of Parsons, even that door may be closed. The Penn State standout took part in the University’s Pro Day last Thursday and apparently lit things up.
The linebacker reportedly ran a 4.39-second 40-yard dash, which considering his size (6’3″, 235lbs) is staggering.
That has suddenly seen his stock skyrocket, which could see him gone before the Patriots have an opportunity to take him.
His name has appeared on a few mock drafts as someone the Patriots might take at #15 if the QB they want isn’t available. He’s clearly an athletic player and as we know, Belichick is also a big fan of versatility, which is something Parsons pointed out is an attribute he has after telling reporters he can do it all.
“I just feel like I’m the most versatile player in this class,” Parsons told reporters last week. “So I can play middle linebacker, I can play outside and I can pass rush. I don’t think there’s a place I can’t play.”
Whether or not that place also ends up being Foxboro will be something we’ll all be watching in the coming weeks.
4) For part of the 2020 season, one of the bigger stories was the Patriots’ disappointing draft history, which saw them struggle after dealing with a lack of youth at key positions.
They’ve certainly swung and missed at key positions, but what happened in Tennessee is still fairly surprising.
The Titans just had to part ways with their 2020 first-round pick after an unbelievable turn of events with offensive lineman Isaiah Wilson, who they took with the 29th overall selection.
Wilson was arrested after a high-speed car chase in Georgia back in January. That chase resulted in an eventual crash, which saw him eventually be apprehended by police.
Things clearly deteriorated in Tennessee, with the club dealing with yet another major incident involving their first-round selection. He had also been previously arrested and charged with DUI last September after he was involved in an accident where he lost control of his vehicle, which ended up seeing him strike a concrete wall.
As a result, the Titans parted ways with him by shipping him off in a trade to Miami. However, the Dolphins later let him go after he reportedly didn’t respond to their offers to try and help him.
For a player who only managed to play four NFL snaps, it’s definitely a sad story. However, it’s also a reminder that at least when it comes to squandered first-round picks, things could always be worse.
What does the future hold for Gilmore?
5) Things seem to be changing on the Stephon Gilmore front and the possibility of him staying is at least beginning to seem a little less unlikely.
According to SI.com’s Albert Breer, he was told that Gilmore would be “very open” to signing a new deal in New England. This story is starting to become a little curious, given that the Patriots placed a second-round tender on J.C. Jackson this offseason. With a value of $3.384 million, that move cut his potential salary by about a million dollars and it would be interesting to know where his mindset is at heading into this season.
That’s another area where how that plays out will likely have an effect on what happens with Gilmore moving forward. If they keep the 30-year old, it’s tough to imagine them being able to offer up a lot of money to Jackson if he goes out and has another big year. If Gilmore gets traded, then you would have to think keeping Jackson would then become the priority.
With so many moving parts, the Patriots still have some work ahead of them. But for anyone doubting whether or not things are done just yet, clearly, there is still plenty of unfinished business to be done in the months ahead.
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Bill Belichick Isaiah Wilson Jimmy Garoppolo Mac Jones Miami Dolphins Micah Parsons New England Patriots Penn State San Francisco 49ers Stephon Gilmore Tennessee Titans University of Alabama