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Jimmy Garoppolo trade rumors: Why the Patriots-49ers pre-NFL Draft deal fell apart

Sporting News logo Sporting News 10/28/2021 Joe Rivera

Jimmy Garoppolo almost found his Patriots way back to New England.

The 49ers quarterback was reportedly an option for Bill Belichick and the Patriots prior the 2021 NFL Draft, with a second-round pick on the table for the once-former Patriots passer, according to a recently released book written by Seth Wickersham.

Wickersham details the Patriots' interest in Garoppolo in the book, titled "It's Better to Be Feared":

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"There was an informal call between a high-level representative of the Patriots and a high-level 49ers official," Wickersham wrote. "What was Garoppolo’s price? New England wondered if a second-rounder would suffice — calling it even from 2017. But the 49ers wouldn’t take less than a first."

The excerpt from the book says that the "informal call" also led to the realization that the Patriots liked the QBs who were in the first round of the 2021 draft more than Garoppolo, leading to the trade talks to fall apart.

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Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch would settle on selecting Trey Lance with the No. 3 overall pick after moving up from No. 12 overall just a month prior, with rumors suggesting that the San Francisco brain trust actually preferred quarterback Mac Jones.

Shanahan vehemently denied the report of a potential trade on Wednesday:

"No. None. I’d also like to not keep answering questions about a book. I promise, if that was the case, I would have talked to their head coach," he said.

All's well that ends well: Both teams got their passers of the future in the draft, while Garoppolo is still holding on to the starter's job in San Francisco for the time being.

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The question remains: Had the Patriots actually landed Garoppolo, would they have still selected Jones with the No. 15 pick? 

Oh, what could have been.

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