"I've talked to a bunch of people in the league about this, and enough people I trust have told me that the Patriots' interest in Jimmy Garoppolo has been consistent. This has got to be more San Francisco willing to make the deal and, of course, New England having the right amount of picks and money to get Jimmy to bring him back. And that's really what it's going to come down to."
Garoppolo began his career with the Patriots and spent parts of four seasons as a backup to Tom Brady before being dealt to San Francisco at the trade deadline in 2017.
The 29-year-old showcased his skill set in 2019 with 3,978 passing yards and 27 touchdowns, leading the 49ers to a 13-3 regular-season record and a trip to Super Bowl LIV. His career has been slowed by injuries, however. He played just six games in 2020 and three games in 2018.
San Francisco can trade Garoppolo this offseason and save $23.6 million against the cap, per Spotrac. The organization would save $25 million on the 2021 cap with a trade after June 1.
Acquiring Garoppolo would certainly help the Patriots, which finished the 2020 campaign ranked 27th in points scored and 30th in passing yards.
In an attempt to turn things around after a 7-9 mark last season, New England was aggressive in 2021 free agency with the additions of tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, linebacker Matt Judon and others. Upgrading the quarterback position would make the team even more dangerous.
The question is whether San Francisco wants to trade its starter and put the offense in the hands of an unknown rookie.