Stunner: Patriots trade Jimmy Garoppolo to 49ers in exchange for draft pick

October 31, 2017 GMT

The New England Patriots have one quarterback on the roster — Tom Brady — following a shocking deal on the eve of the trade deadline. They’ve traded Jimmy Garoppolo, Brady’s backup, to the San Francisco 49ers for a second-round draft pick in 2018, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Patriots reportedly rebuffed offers for Garoppolo in the offseason, including from the Cleveland Browns, who tried multiple times to land him. But now apparently was the right time for Bill Belichick to make a stunner of a deal, something he has become quite infamous for.

Garoppolo started two games in Brady’s place when he was suspended to start last season. In those two games, Garoppolo completed 42-of-59 passes for 496 yards with four TDs and zero interceptions before suffering a shoulder injury in Week 2. He has not taken a snap this season.

The 49ers also have released Brian Hoyer. It would be expected that he signs with the Patriots, having served as Brady’s backup previously.

If Garoppolo turns into a standout starter, the price will be viewed as a pittance. The 49ers are 0-8, well on their way to a losing season, which could net the Patriots a high second-round pick. That’s an area they’ve drafted often.

The Patriots also traded Jacoby Brissett in the preseason, leaving the QB room quite bare. They do not have a quarterback on the practice squad either after releasing Taylor Heinecke a few weeks back.

How they’ll address the position — they have their bye to figure it out — is anyone’s guess. Right now, it’s hard to figure out what the contingency plan is if the 40-year old Brady, who has taken some hits this season, goes down with injury.

The 6-2 Patriots go on the road to face the Denver Broncos in Week 10. The 49ers host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium. Rookie C.J. Beathard has started the past two games but has largely struggled in the two losses.

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