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Ask PFW: Reacting to the Garoppolo trade

This week’s Ask PFW mailbag has fans reacting to a shocking bye-week trade for the second straight Halloween.

Here's your big trade question #417...The Patriots were reportedly offered 1st- and 5th-round picks for Garoppolo in the spring and turned it down even though they had Brissett, who they seemed to be pretty high on, to have as back up to Brady. I get it that most likely he'd be gone after this season and they wanted to get something for him, but the way this evolved seems a bit odd right?
Gary Abrams

When word of the Garoppolo trade broke on Monday night – a deal that's now been officially announced by New England, sending the backup QB to the 49ers in exchange for a second-round pick in next spring's draft – I had two immediate reactions. First, I was shocked by the timing. Second, I was underwhelmed by the compensation. If you are willing to trade Garoppolo now, I think you should have done it in the offseason, when I firmly believe you always have the opportunity to get more in any deal. I don't know if the Patriots could have gotten more than a first-round pick, as you assume. I don't know if the team could have gotten the No. 12 pick from the Browns. But based on everything we heard all offseason from so many sources – led by ESPN's Adam Schefter guaranteeing the Patriots would get a first-round pick if they dealt Garoppolo and then saying New England wouldn't trade him for four first-round picks – a single second-round pick seems disappointing for a guy many believe can be a franchise QB. "Odd" is a great word to describe the whole situation.
Andy Hart

Did I take my crazy pills today? So 6 months ago we HAD to have 2 first-round picks for Jimmy G. Now we send him to San Fran for a second-round pick. What gives?Thanks,
Bill from New Hampster

I'm assuming Bill's location was a type, but I'm leaving it cause it made me laugh! Clearly we don't have all the information regarding what took place over the last year behind the scenes. We don't know exactly what was offered in the spring. We don't know what Bill Belichick and the Patriots were thinking about Garoppolo or the now-40-year-old Brady, for that matter. But even without all the details and being the reactionary media member that I am, I think it's safe to say New England misread or mismanaged the Garoppolo situation over the last year. It will be hard for anyone to convince me otherwise.
Andy Hart

I like the Jimmy G trade. I think its good value with the 49ers for what most likely is a 33/34/35 pick overall in what appears to be a somewhat deep draft in terms of talent and dealing a player that would be almost impossible to retain after this season without the franchise tag. What do you guys think?
Hugo Ramos

There is no question that New England now owns a pick that will be near the top of the second round. That's good. But a pick in the first-round would be better. This situation is very much like the one that sent Matt Cassel to the Chiefs back in the day, although Cassel was under the franchise tag which added a layer of context to trade talks. Now, New England used that second-round pick, which was actually the first pick of the second-round, on Ras-I Dowling. If the Patriots keep this pick and don't trade it, I hope they get a player with more of an impact than Dowling. But even at that relatively high spot in the draft there is certainly no guarantee. And depending on how well/poorly Garoppolo plays in the future in San Francisco we may have a very different "value" assessment of this trade. 
Andy Hart


I'm sure this will be the Jimmy G Ask PFW and show (who says bye weeks are boring) but two simple questions. Is it possible that this is actually the highest offer we received for him? The whole Cleveland multiple first rounds etc. was just a smoke screen? Also, you mentioned he didn't look great in training camp at time. Any hints that this is continued and maybe we changed our mind on the whole heir apparent thing? Personally I would have liked to see at least a 2 and something but there you go.
A very shocked Mark in the UK

I continue to be surprised over the years at how trade values play out in the NFL. Garoppolo is a would-be franchise QB in the pre-prime phase of his career for the position. He gets a second-round pick. Duane Brown, a 32-year-old tackle looking for more money, brought back a lower second-round pick, a fourth-round pick and a cornerback with starting experience. Those two don't seem to equate to me. Certainly there is a legit possibility that the 49ers pick was the best the Patriots were actually offered. I don't necessarily buy it, but it's possible. And I still have doubts about Garoppolo being an elite NFL starter. His game sample size is tiny. His durability and consistency are questions to me. Maybe other teams felt the same way. I don't, however, think the Patriots soured on Garoppolo. I think they just realized the only way to keep him moving forward was a franchise tag and that the timeline for a transition between he and Brady wasn't working out. Of course some of us have been saying that for a long time.
Andy Hart

I'll leave the Jimmy G. questions for the rest of the questions you're asked. Great win by the Pats! Living in San Diego, being a Patriots fan, double pleasure seeing the Patriots beat the new team up north. I think the Bademosi pickup was great as he started off as primarily a special teamer but has found a place on the defense and played a solid/serviceable role these past two weeks. That being said, I want Gilmore back on the field, as unlike most pats fans, think he has more to offer. Do you think Belichick cuts bait on Dwayne Allen and cuts him to allow for the return of Mitchell or Valentine, who clearly have more to offer the team? Given that it's Halloween, is the scariest Halloween costume an Eli or David Tyree costume?Happy Halloween,
Jeff Scott


Two first names and from San Diego? Is your favorite player Hunter Henry? Lol. Bademosi has done a nice job the last couple weeks filling in, but I thought the Chargers finally started to target him the way that any opponent really should. I firmly believe he is what he is at the point, and that's not a starting NFL cornerback. It's not debatable whether Gilmore is more physically talented – he is. But many rightly question his fit and communication in the back end based on what we saw from him and the group earlier in the year. I think that's fair. Gilmore needs to prove he can be better and be a more cohesive part of the secondary, and not just in man coverage. It's too early to give up on him and given his huge contract the team is stuck with him either way. While Allen has been a big disappointment and a non-factor as a pass-catcher, I don't think the team will give up on him. He's the only blocking tight end other than Rob Gronkowski. Jacob Hollister and potential practice squad call-up Will Tye are really only options as receivers. And the Patriots aren't at a point where they are forced into roster moves yet. As for the costume, I think Eli is more scary. He not only beat the Patriots twice, but is one goofy-looking dude. 
Andy Hart

Am I onto something with this question on Garoppolo trade: BB knows what this team can do now, as well as Garoppolo, so in assuming the risk of not having him back up Brady, Bill knows, that if Brady goes down, this team would not winning SB with Jimmy G?
Henry G.

I'll admit this is one of the first things I thought of when the Garoppolo trade was reported. All along we had heard from various sources and media outlets that the Patriots felt they could win a Super Bowl with Garoppolo leading the team. Maybe, just maybe, Belichick came to realize that given the way the Patriots have played through the first eight games that just wasn't the case anymore. That could be a reason to deal Garoppolo now rather than risk the minefield of trying to franchise him to deal him after the season. (Although I still think the Cassel-like franchise-and-trade scenario could have been an option with teams like San Francisco and Cleveland holding an abundance of cap space to work with, even if it took a little short-term work on the Patriots own cap.) There are a lot of questions surrounding the timing and execution of this Garoppolo trade. I don't think this one is any crazier than any of the others.
Andy Hart

BB traded two young and functional back-up QBs for a bench-warmer Dorsett and a 2d-round pick. Am I the only one who does not see much value in these trades but plenty of risk for Pats?
Gus Rustik

I wouldn't lump the two trades together. I think New England had decided that Brissett wasn't a part of the team's future and wasn't going down the road of being an NFL starter or even elite backup. They turned that into a former first-round pick who the team has had an affinity for since he entered the league. I think that's pretty good value. Dorsett may not work out, but it was worth a shot. This trade, in my opinion, was not good value. It's also relevant to note the two deals leave the team without a backup QB for the time being, even if Brian Hoyer is destined to slide back into his old job behind Brady on the New England depth chart.
Andy Hart

So, what now? I expect BB has a plan for a backup QB but whatever it is, it will be a down-grade from Jimmy G. Pray for a healthy #12.
Al Whiting

While it sounds like Hoyer could be brought back and makes as much sense as anyone at this point, it's clearly a downgrade from Garoppolo at the position. Hoyer has proven himself a journeyman backup who can win occasionally, but isn't a starting-caliber passer. Of course, that rarely matters. Even though Brady is 40, he hasn't missed time to injury since 2008. I don't have any expectation that's going to change, especially with his TB12 Method making it hard for him to get hurt. His words, not mine. So for the here and now Hoyer isn't as good a backup option, but he's good enough with his previous experience in the system.
Andy Hart

After a spat of recent trades where Patriots did not get a good value for their draft picks, or value in Gilmore mega contract, and now trading Garoppolo only for a 2d-round pick, even a high one, when it comes to wheeling and dealing, are you still a part of "In BB We trust" group?
Sean Morris

I've never been a part of the "In Bill We Trust" group. I always assess every move he makes individually and using my own perspective. I pride myself on that. I'm also often criticized for it. But I also give him credit for making things work out more often than not. He has more information than I do and an overall impressive track record. So far, this looks like it's not going to be one of his better years in terms of personnel moves. I have been saying that for weeks, even before this trade. But he's earned the right to let it play out before we truly assess what he's done for this team, this year. (A team that's 6-2, top the AFC East and one game behind the NFL's best record at the mid-point of the season.) And he's certainly earned the right to continue to do what he thinks is best moving forward. He's far from perfect, but he's damn good with few if any comparables in the game.
Andy Hart

This trade absolutely does not make sense to me. First off you don't trade Jimmy G. for a first rounder and more to Cleveland during this past draft, you don't trade him for Cleveland's next year's 1st which could potentially be #1 overall. You keep Jimmy G. saying he is the future, to then trade him for a 2nd rounder??? This is where Belichick the GM is killing the fans. We have zero depth and NO pass rush. Why not trade Jimmy for a pass rusher during the last draft?
Chris Mercier

As I said earlier, we may never really know what was offered to the Patriots in potential Garoppolo trades last spring. A lot of what comes out now could be spin or revisionist history that must be taken with a dubious eye. I have said I question the value of this trade and the management of the timing of the deal. It is what it is. I also am interested to see how the rest of the season and evolution of this team plays out.
Andy Hart

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