New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick watches his team during a recent game against the Atlanta Falcons. Photo by Matthew Healey/UPI | License Photo
Coach Bill Belichick said that he liked what Jimmy Garoppolo brought to the table, but admitted that the New England Patriots traded the quarterback to the San Francisco 49ers because the situation had to be resolved.
"We probably had, in my opinion, the best quarterback situation in the league for the last -- let's call it 2 1/2 years -- it's just not sustainable given the way that things are set up. It's definitely not something that we wanted to walk away from and I felt like we rode it out as long as we could.
"We over a period of time explored every option possible to try to sustain it, but just at this point felt like we had to make a decision. It's a very complex situation on multiple levels and this (Tuesday is the NFL trade deadline) is really the last window that we had and we did what we felt was best for the team."
Garoppolo, who was selected in the second round of the 2014 draft, was scheduled for unrestricted free agency after the season. The Patriots received a 2018 second-round pick from the 49ers for Garoppolo, who will turn 26 on Thursday.
In 17 career NFL games (just two starts), Garoppolo has completed 63 of 94 passes for 690 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions.
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jimmy. I couldn't ask for him to give us any more than he has given us," Belichick said. "The 49ers are getting a good player, they are getting a good person, and they're getting a great teammate, and they are getting a good quarterback.
"And Jimmy is getting a good coach (Kyle Shanahan). His career is moving forward. He's a talented individual. He was a great person to coach. I met with him weekly. But as his career moves forward, we have to look at our team, both this year and beyond."
Tom Brady, 40, is under contract through 2019. He is the lone quarterback on the Patriots' roster at the moment.
"We'll address the quarterback position and try to put our team in the most competitive position possible," Belichick said.
That very well could be Brian Hoyer, who was released after the 49ers acquired Garoppolo. The 32-year-old backed up Brady for the Patriots from 2009-11, appearing in 13 games and making no starts. He subsequently earned starts with the Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Chicago Bears and San Francisco, going 16-21.
In 55 career games, Hoyer has a 59.3 percent completion rate with 9,853 passing yards, 48 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. This season, he was 0-6 as a starter for the 49ers with four TD passes and four interceptions.