Former New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo arrived in the Bay Area on Tuesday to a starter’s welcome.
The San Francisco 49ers held an introductory news conference for Garoppolo after they traded a second-round pick to the Patriots for his services.
“I’d like to start off just thanking everyone from this organization, you know, starting with (49ers CEO) Jed (York), (chief strategy officer & executive vice president, football operations) Paraag (Marathe), (general manager) John (Lynch) and (head coach) Kyle (Shanahan) here, it’s a privilege to be here,” Garoppolo told reporters in his opening statement. “I mean, going back to New England, thanking the Kraft family for giving me that first opportunity, thanking (New England Patriots head coach Bill) coach Belichick for believing in me from the start. Things have really worked out. So, just thrilled to be here right now.”
The 49ers tried to trade for Garoppolo over the offseason but were quickly rebuffed by the Patriots. Lynch, like Belichick in a conference call Tuesday morning, didn’t want to give too much information on how the trade came together.
“You know, in talking with the Patriots, one of the things, we’re not going to get into a ton of details,” Lynch said. “I will tell you that I think getting, wanted to do a trade this offseason, we inquired and were quickly shut down. It never even became. They didn’t, it never came to fruition at all. In the last couple days, it did. We were very pleased that that was the case. …
“We agreed with the Patriots that we are going to leave the details. There’s a lot of details. As Bill said, it’s a big puzzle and I think it’s very complex to get into and we’re just going to leave it at that, and we’re thrilled to have this guy sitting next to me right now.”
Shanahan said he wants Garoppolo to be the quarterback of the future, but Lynch wasn’t quite as direct.
“Look, I just met Jimmy for the first time,” Lynch said. “You know, we’re here, I know his representative, (agent) Don Yee, is in the room, and he’s sitting right next to the guy that will be talking to him. There’s a lot of options at our disposal. We’re just getting to know him.
“Honest to God, we need to get him in the playbook, so that’s where we’re going to start, first thing’s first. But, I can tell you, second-round picks are very valuable in this league, particularly where we are at as an organization. And so, this is a guy we wanted and were willing to give what we thought was a very valuable commodity and exchange for him. So, we’re excited moving forward that he’s going to be a part of our future.”
Garoppolo only would say he’ll see what will happen.
“You know, thrilled to be here,” Garoppolo said. “I mean, just got here this morning. I mean, I couldn’t be happier. But you know, we’re just, got to take it week-by-week right now. I’ve got a whole playbook to learn. The terminology, I mean, it’s going to be like learning a different language. I’m looking forward to the challenge and enjoying the process.”
After giving up a second-round pick for Garoppolo, one would think the 49ers at least would franchise Garoppolo if they like him and can’t come to a long-term contract with him by the offseason.
Shanahan was asked when Garoppolo could start, and he said the 49ers will look at it “week-to-week.”
“It’s a huge challenge,” Shanahan said. “You know, Jimmy coming here, never playing in this offense before. I know it’s a completely different terminology from what he had in New England and college. That takes a lot of time. I know Jimmy is going to come in here and do everything he can to get ready. I know we are too, but by no means are we trying to rush the process. I would definitely not expect it this week. We’ll look at it each week and when we feel that he’s comfortable and has a chance to go in there and have some success, with the time he’s put in and the reps that he’s got in practice, then we’ll decide when that time is right.”
The 49ers play the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday and the New York Giants in Week 10 before a Week 11 bye, so it’s possible Garoppolo might not start until Week 12.
Thumbnail photo via Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports Images