Nobody uses the NFL trade deadline like Bill Belichick and the Patriots coach was reportedly at it once again in 2017. In a surprising move, the Patriots dealt quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to San Francisco for a 2018 second-round pick, according to multiple reports.
The trade comes a day before the official deadline but as no less of a surprise considering the Patriots have just 40-year-old Tom Brady on the roster at the game's most important position.
Several rumors involving a Garoppolo trade dominated the offseason as the backup was one of the league's hottest commodities. At the time ESPN's Adam Schefter adamantly insisted the Patriots had no intentions of trading him, jokingly stating that Belichick was so convinced in his future that he wouldn't have dealt him for four first-round picks. Six months later, Garoppolo not only was traded but he went to the Niners for far less than many of the rumors suggested back before the draft.
Cleveland was considered a possible destination, mostly due to the Brown plethora of draft picks, which included the first and 12th overall picks last spring. The Patriots held onto Garoppolo despite the potential for a substantial return, and now he's off to join Kyle Shanahan's winless Niners.
Reports out of San Francisco indicate the Niners plan to release veteran Brian Hoyer, who began his career in New England as Brady's backup. A return to the Patriots would obviously make a lot of sense with Brady in need of some protection.