Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reported Garoppolo "still really isn't" available via trade despite the 49ers trading up to the No. 3 pick in April's draft, presumably to take their quarterback of the future.
Garoppolo played his first three-plus seasons in New England before being traded to San Francisco in October 2017.
The 49ers reportedly see themselves as Super Bowl contenders and do not want to move on from Garoppolo until they're sure a potential newly drafted QB can handle a starter's workload. San Francisco is 22-8 with Garoppolo as its starting quarterback and 7-27 with someone else taking the snaps over the last four seasons.
49ers general manager John Lynch said last month that Garoppolo's availability—he's missed 23 games over the last three seasons—is a concern, despite giving him a vote of confidence.
Lynch, who traded for the 29-year-old, said on the Eye Test for Two podcast:
"Being available is a big part of this thing. So we—probably as a stated goal—we have to insulate ourselves better. We got to have better options if he's not there. I've watched people go through this in their careers where they struggled early. It happened to me early, and then I went eight years without missing a practice. So I believe things can happen, and I believe they will for him. I really believe that Jimmy is our guy."
The Patriots are currently projected to start Cam Newton at quarterback for a second straight season after giving him a one-year contract in free agency. Newton struggled mightily as a passer in 2020, but the Patriots were the NFL's most active team in free agency, signing tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith and wideouts Nelson Agholor and former 49er Kendrick Bourne.
While New England could still use a bona fide No. 1 receiver, the roster is far better at the skill positions than it was at this time a year ago.
Getting Garoppolo back could go a long way in giving Bill Belichick the type of offense he envisions that can compete for a championship.