The final 39 seconds ticked away and Matt Barkley took a knee to end the game. The end result was a Buffalo Bills 38-9 victory over the New England Patriots. Still one week remaining in the season, with likely another loss for the most dominant football franchise in NFL history. A six-win season for the first time in twenty years awaits the most decorated and respected coach the game has ever known. A number of questions will need to be answered before 2021, with some being answered in the draft. Some will be addressed by Bill Bellichick‘s bargain basement shopping style. One answer, to the biggest question of them all, could be the return of Jimmy Garoppolo.

The Patriots Reality

Cam Newton was not the answer. He was a flyer. Newton was the perfect clearance item on the Dollar Tree shelves of NFL free agency; low risk and high reward. Cam came off an injury-plagued season in Carolina and nobody seemed willing to take a chance him. He would take a measly one-year deal to prove he still had some gas in the tank. As it turned out, the tank was bone dry.

Cam’s 65.4-percent completion percentage is the second best of his career. His 172 yards per game is the worst of his career, as was his 6.1 yards per attempt. When the quarterback poses absolutely no threat to pass, your team will face a lot of nine man fronts. The fanboys in and around Boston rave about his rushing totals and rushing touchdowns. They fail to recognize that the Patriots have a fullback taking snaps. Mike Alstott is calling the plays for them.

Cam  Newton
Can Someone Help Him, Please?

It is not all on Cam though. He might have the worst group of receivers to throw to. His offensive line is swiss cheese, despite the emergence of Michael Onwenu, the Patriots sixth round selection out of Michigan. Sony Michel has looked like a waste of a first round pick. He appears to have lost his job to second year talent Damien Harris. Needless to say, outside of a field general, the Patriots have many needs to address this offseason.

The Patriots will not address the position in the early rounds of the NFL Draft. It’s not Bill’s style to take such a high risk move. A first round bust at quarterback is the death of many coaches and general managers. Even ones as tenured as the GOAT. They also may be hesitant to use a mid round pick on a signal caller. Former fourth round pick Jarrett Stidham, once the darling of the offseason, has fallen so quickly and deeply out of favor with the entire organization. Tarde or free agency will be where they look to solve the problem.

The 49ers Reality

Jimmy Garoppolo was an absolute steal for the franchise. The Cleveland Browns were reportedly offering two first round picks for Tom Brady‘s backup, but the Patriots decided to ship him west for nothing more than a second. Jimmy got off to as hot a start as you can. He looked amazing with New England. He then started 5-0 for the 49ers.

It surprised very few when he was offered and accepted a five-year, $137.5 million contract. He was going to be the next Joe Montana and lead the team to multiple super bowl titles. Then an ACL injury derailed his second season as a starter, and he would not get his chance until 2019, when the team would make it to the Super Bowl.

Jimmy Garappolo
SANTA CLARA – OCTOBER 4: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) walks around the bench as his team plays the Philadelphia Eagles during their game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. (Randy Vazquez/ Bay Area News Group)

Jimmy did not get the credit for this however. Fans across the nation were heard and seen saying the 49rs got to the big game despite Garoppolo. He was called the leagues highest paid game manager, and the teams success was attributed to a strong running game and solid defense. Talk started very shortly after a poor showing in Hard Rock Stadium, that maybe, just maybe, the team would be better with a different quarterback.

The talk would only get louder in 2020. Jimmy Garoppolo would play six games, riddled by injuries yet again, and would throw almost as many interceptions as touchdowns when he was on the field. The time for change is imminent, and many mock drafts have the 49ers targeting a quarterback in the upcoming draft.

Match Made in Heaven

Jimmy Garappolo 2

Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract has not handcuffed San Francisco in the least. They can cut him this off season and it only counts as $2.8 million against their 2021 cap space. It is not a stretch of the imagination to say that cut will be coming fast and furious from the front office.

The Patriots will have a projected $51 million in cap space for 2021, and they will spend it all. Grappolo should cost a fraction of what he did in San Francisco, getting offered a contract south of $20 million per year. He is familiar with McDaniel’s offense. It has not changed, and it is the same one that made him temporarily the highest paid quarterback in the league. Bill Belichick has raved about and praised Jimmy at every turn, and clearly chose him to replace Tom back in 2014.

There is no doubt that he will be a free agent for less than an hour before he is on the phone with Bill and Mr. Kraft. Jimmy Garoppolo will return to New England to finish what he started and continue the dynasty.

I hope you enjoyed the piece. Please let me know what you think on the show Twitter or Facebook page.
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