San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said Friday that New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was unwilling to trade quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo the first time he was approached with the idea.
Shanahan told Albert Breer of The MMQB that he first brought up the idea of trading for Garoppolo to Belichick at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine: "I remember asking Bill personally down at the combine about Jimmy, and very quickly he told me that wasn't a possibility. So we moved on from that. He told me he wasn't going to trade him."
The Patriots eventually dealt Garoppolo to the Niners for a 2018 second-round draft pick prior to the 2017 NFL trade deadline.
With Tom Brady playing MVP-caliber football at the age of 40 and Garoppolo's contract set to expire at the end of the 2017 season, Belichick decided to get value in return for his backup signal-caller rather than lose him for nothing.
In January, ESPN.com's Seth Wickersham wrote an article in which he reported Belichick was essentially forced into trading Garoppolo by Brady and owner Robert Kraft since Brady didn't want the threat of Garoppolo breathing down his neck.
Whatever the reason, the Pats moved Garoppolo to San Francisco, and he immediately thrived in his new surrounding.
The 26-year-old went 5-0 as a starter for the 49ers and finished the season with 1,560 passing yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions.
During his brief career, the 2014 second-round draft pick out of Eastern Illinois is a perfect 7-0 as a starter.
Thursday, Garoppolo was rewarded for his strong play with a five-year, $137.5 million contract extension to remain with the Niners. That marks the largest contract in NFL history on an average-salary-per-year basis.
With Garoppolo in place, Shanahan and the 49ers will look to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2013.