Patriots Owner Regrets Garoppolo Trade?

The Patriots stunned many this year when they traded quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers for a second-round pick. In a lengthy piece detailing a growing rift within the Patriots organization, ESPN.com’s Seth Wickersham writes that owner Robert Kraft forced Bill Belichick to make the deal. However, after watching Garoppolo excel in San Francisco, Kraft has “confessed to people in the building that trading Garoppolo might have been a mistake.” Robert Kraft (vertical)

Previous reports indicated that Kraft may have pressured Belichick to part ways with Tom Brady‘s heir apparent. However, the ESPN story hints at a much bigger problem within the organization. Brady, who turns 41 in August, seemed to be elated in the wake of the Garoppolo trade. Belichick, meanwhile, only requested a second-round pick in exchange for Garoppolo, Wickersham hears. Wickersham also hints that Belichick steered Garoppolo to the 49ers out of respect for Kyle Shanahan and his father, Mike Shanahan.

Before the trade, the Patriots worked hard to keep Garoppolo in the fold. Wickersham hears that the Pats “repeatedly” offered up four-year contract extensions, in the $17MM-$18MM per year range plus increases for if/when he succeeded Brady. Garoppolo’s camp rejected those offers, likely because he preferred the possibility of immediately becoming a starter elsewhere and earning $25MM/year or more on his next contract.

The story, which we recommend reading in full, hints at a potential end to the Patriots structure as we know it. Some within the organization apparently wondered if the Pats’ Week 17 game against the Jets could be Belichick’s last regular season game as the Patriots’ head coach.

Meanwhile, the agent for Brady (and Garoppolo) has moved to cast doubt on the report.

I don’t really know what to say — it’s tough to have a response since it didn’t appear to me to have one on-the-record quote,” Don Yee said in a statement. “All I can suggest is don’t believe everything you read.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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61 comments on “Patriots Owner Regrets Garoppolo Trade?

  1. ahale224

    It’s a long article but really good and a bit shocking.

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    • gibba192471

      ESPN ally if it’s not true. Boston media, media in general love making the news. They no longer report the news, they just make it up as they go.

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  2. driftcat28

    ESPN at it again going after the Pats. They’re probably just adding lots of gas to what’s probably a small rift (if anything). Belichick and Brady are true professionals and whatever they have going on behind the scenes won’t affect them this post season, no matter how hard ESPN will try to distract

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    • JT19

      How is ESPN going at it again after the Pats? ESPN loves teams/players that grab headlines and loves teams that are dominant/good for a long time.

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        • JT19

          It creates headlines and is clickbait. Almost every other media source does the same thing.

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          • driftcat28

            Exactly, And they do it with the pats often. You can not deny that there is a bias against the pats on ESPN

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            • itslonelyatthetrop

              They have sung Kraft-Belichick-Brady praises more than ANYONE the last 17 years. Bias! Pfft.

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              • dave13

                What are you talking about? They absolutely have not. Most of the scandals have started from BS reporting by ESPN reporters

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                • Polish Hammer

                  Most of the scandals have started from people on the inside knowing that Wild Bill was operating in that grey area where it might not exactly be against the rules but a wonky moral compass wouldn’t tell you you’re operating in bad faith.

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  3. Michael Chaney

    The thought of this being Belichick’s last season just doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe it’s a valid report, but unless that actually ends up happening there’s no way I could believe it.

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    • itslonelyatthetrop

      There are two pieces of evidence about Belichick’s future in that article. One says that he might leave due to ownership’s meddling in football operations with Kraft ordering the Jimmy G trade. The other says Belichick won’t leave until he feels the team’s future at QB is secure for years to come. And a lot of it is reading of tea leaves from info from sources close to the team. So, I’d call it 51-49 he stays.

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      • Natergater77

        It said he did not want to leave until he felt the team was set to have continued success, partly due to his sons both being there.

        That said Belichick is similar to his mentor in Parcell who wants no owner interference in the football operations. The Jimmy G trade was first time in a long while Kraft has done that.

        Though I don’t believe Bill will look to get out and go coach else where (at least next year or even 2 years) I do believe if they win the Super Bowl this year that he would retire, just so he could show Brady that he needs Bill to win.

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  4. lucienbel
    lucienbel

    Highly doubt Belichick will be leaving. None the less, interesting to hear some strife from a team that manages to keep that sort of thing in house really well.

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  5. qbass187

    It’s more speculation and stories told by “unmanned sources”. Where’s the substance? Merely a bloated opinion piece

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    • itslonelyatthetrop

      You’re insinuating that “unnamed* sources” is equivalent to “they’re making it up”. A lot of it is reading of tea leaves, I agree. But it’s hardly meaningless.

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  6. WFG1

    A lot of this article just seems like speculation but it seems very likely that both McDaniels & Patricia will be moving on after the season and it does seem awfully strange the Pats would trade both their highly drafted young back-up QB’s within weeks in favor of a soon to be 41 year old QB, so maybe where there’s smoke there’s also some fire.

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    • Why is it strange they traded Brissett and Garrapolo? Brissett was never going to replace Brady, and they held onto Garrapolo as long as possible. They couldn’t keep both Brady and Garrapolo next year—franchising a backup QB is unprecedented and salary-cap impossible. So they dealt him at the last possible point they could. It’s business.

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      • ChiSoxCity

        You don’t think the Patriots compromised their future by getting rid of Garrapolo?

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        • FBA17

          That was the risk. I wouldn’t want to make that decision. Trade probably best QB of all time while still playing above average even for his age. Very hard decision. Don’t know what’s right or wrong.

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        • Yes, I do, but they had no choice. It was going to be impossible to keep both Brady and Garrapolo on the team any longer. What would you do? Cut Brady and turn the franchise over to Garrapolo?

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        • One Fan

          Terrible idea to move him. That is what happens when owners think they are football executives and interfere with their own teams

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      • itslonelyatthetrop

        It wasn’t strange them trading Brissett. He was a 3rd string QB with trade value. They got a solid receiver back. Trading JG was very odd, it left them with no order of succession at QB and a starting QB in his forties and showing wear and tear.

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        • Polish Hammer

          Except like Tom said they held him as long as they could. Problem is hey got ok value but not great value and I’m sure they turned down better offers than the one they agreed upon with SF.

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        • natesp4

          Agree with the sentiment of your post, but I’m curious what signs of wear and tear you’re referring to?

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        • mcmillankmm

          Lol solid WR? He will most likely be out of the league when his deal expires

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      • WFG1

        Belichick does not waste 3rd round pick on a young QB who was heavily endorsed by Parcells and was successful filling in for both Brady & Garapolo just to have a 3rd string QB on the roster.

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  7. yoyo137

    That article finally gives you a little insight on Belichick. Seems like he’s actually a pretty nice guy overall and he really is leaving a huge legacy if he leaves, Garoppolo succeeds in SF, and if McDaniels and Patricia become good head coaches

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    • Polish Hammer

      He was also a nice guy in New York and left a legacy in Cleveland…

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      • yoyo137

        Did I mention any Jets or Browns players or coaching staff? You always have something negative to say and for real your opinion is always stupid

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          • yoyo137

            Same to you dude, you’re like the Jets. Or maybe the Browns. You don’t know why they get on your nerves so much but you respect that they’re consistently trash.

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            • Polish Hammer

              You got me confused with somebody else yoohoo, couldn’t care less about the Jets and feel sorry for the Brownie Backers.

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      • One Fan

        The legacy he left in Cleveland was boy how dumb was Cleveland to fire him!

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    • itslonelyatthetrop

      Belichick is not Mr. Warmth, he’s not Dick Vermeil or Marty Schottenheimer, going to motivate his players with his heart and his charisma. He’s a Chuck Noll, smartest guy there, just do you the job I give you and don’t talk guy.

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  8. bucketheadsdad

    Regretting it because they could have very likely reaped a much richer reward had they spoken to the Browns.

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    • itslonelyatthetrop

      Sashie Brown wasn’t going to trade a 2nd round pick (or better) for a QB because it would have said drafting DK was a mistake not even one full season after doing it.

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  9. Gee, in a season without much controversy off the field, and a Patriots team that’s essentially “going through the motions” of locking up home field, suddenly on the eve of the playoffs there’s this article about how dysfunctional they truly are on the inside. The Pats always thrive on an US vs them mentality, and this is likely just another way to motivate them for the playoff run. Would not be surprised at all if the sources for the “information” were inside Gillette Stadium at the end of the day.

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  10. ThePriceWasRight

    an article with no credible source yet people are supposed to by it? if there was a gift between tom and Bill or bill and management you really think they’d risk losing both coordinators? I’m sure Tom would be in McDaniels ear that the team could be his soon.

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    • itslonelyatthetrop

      It could be loaded with credible sources who wish to remain anonymous. You didn’t see FBI Deputy Director W. Mark Felt telling Bob Woodward to use his name during Watergate.

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  11. JT19

    Really good article by ESPN. A lot of it is speculation, but there seems to be a lot of info that would otherwise be unknown in the article if it wasn’t made public. In regards to the unnamed sources, its in the best interest of the source and the journalist to leave them unnamed. If the sources are still employed by the team (players, coaches, or other staff) it looks terrible for them and the team. Journalists will never give up the name of their sources because they’ll lose all credibility otherwise.

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    • dave13

      Not that great of an article but I’ve seen you kick ESPN’s butthole a few times on here so this doesn’t surprise me

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  12. brewcrew08

    I can’t wait for Bill to retire along with Brady. The Pats will fall off a cliff then. Kraft is an incompetent owner.

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    • How is Kraft incompetent? He’s an owner who hires good people. In his tenure he’s hired 3 coaches, and in 23 seasons as an owner those coaches have been to 10 Super Bowls. Find an owner with a better track record.

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    • itslonelyatthetrop

      Kraft is a lot better owner than the fans of Green Bay, Cheesehead.

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  13. FBA17

    Funny because this stuff always galvanizes the Patriots. They will turn this into is us V them. That’s how they operate.

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    • itslonelyatthetrop

      This isn’t a witch hunt or an accusation of wrong doing. This is an observation that things are not blissful harmony in an organization that prides itself on team-first philosophy, even when they’re winning Super Bowls. At the end of the day, it’s not a big deal. One of the 3 was gonna go at some point even if everything was all sherry n’ giggles.

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  14. itslonelyatthetrop

    It doesn’t really shock me that there is a power struggle in New England. It has to hurt for a coach to hear all the success was because of a QB, or vice-versa. And for an owner to have personalities so big on his team- two of them, to boot- that threaten his sovereign word as the boss. But, come game time, if they win together it should render it moot.

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  15. DMWBAGFv2

    There’s no guarantee that San Francisco will use the franchise tag. So maybe they are gambling that Jimmy will return in the off-season after Brady retires.

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  16. madmanTX

    Kraft ought to regret the trade. Brady isn’t going to last another decade like he thinks he will.

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  17. Polish Hammer

    Just their luck to see Brady suffer a serious injury in the playoffs and Garaffolo returns as a free agent in the offseason and it’s a win-win-win.

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  18. axisofhonor25

    Should have paid the man! Brady has definitely regressed, yeah they are winning games but when all you throw to are running backs as your receiver with dump off passes, it miss Cooks on several great routes, you are having arm issues. Let’s see how next year goes, but I’d be worried about Brady.

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    • mcmillankmm

      Yeah, he’s regressing even though he’s front runner for the MVP

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      • Natergater77

        Jordan regressed and still played top level. Even LeBron is still MVP while not having same play he did 5 years ago. Regressing doesn’t mean no longer able to play, it means not playing the same.

        Not to mention MVP typically goes to QB. And when you look at the landscape this year what QB had a great season? Rodgers and Wentz got injured, Atlanta stepped back and so that takes Ryan out. Brees was ok but would be said to regress with age. Watson was wowing people for a rookie and got hurt. The only other QBs people have said look at this guy were Goff (and one could argue that Gurley made him look as good as Elliott has Prescott) and Case Kennum. And do you think anyone is voting Case MVP on one good season?

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