Beyond that, former executive Sashi Brown would also have been willing to help New England shop around for a backup quarterback to help the trade work.
However, the Patriots ultimately decided to trade Garoppolo before last year’s deadline to the 49ers in return for a 2018 second-round pick.
The Texans wound up finishing the year with a record of 4-12 and secure the No. 4 overall pick in the draft. Meanwhile, the Patriots should end up with the No. 43 overall pick as part of their deal with the 49ers.
Pluto says that the Browns’ front office was “especially baffled” because they had completed two trades with New England in the past.
According to Pluto, Cleveland actually last spoke with the Patriots on October 28, which was just a few days before the trade deadline, but they couldn’t even get trade talks started and New England told them Garoppolo wasn’t available.
Pluto says that the Browns told the Patriots more than once: “If you are open to trading him, please call.”
Sure enough, the Patriots shipped Garoppolo off to the 49ers two days later without contacting them.
There are a number of theories for why the Patriots didn’t field trade offers from other teams for Garoppolo including: Bill Belichick didn’t want him in the AFC, he didn’t want to help the Browns given what transpired during his tenure as their head coach, dealing with the Browns was difficult, and he had a great relationship with 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch and wanted to do right by Garoppolo.
The strangest aspect of all of this is just the simple fact that an NFL team had a valuable asset and didn’t try to get market value for it or even determine what that may actually be.
Garoppolo ended up in San Francisco and put together an impressive stretch of games to close out the year and is now in position to cash in big as a free agent, either by the franchise tag or with a long-term contract.
We have him featured in our Top 100 – 2018 NFL Free Agents list.