Reports conflict on whether Patriots offered Jimmy Garoppolo a new contract

Getty Images

Before the Patriots traded Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers, did New England offer Garoppolo a contract to try to get him to remain? ESPN’s ballyhooed story about the escalating tensions in New England says an offer was made. A longtime Patriots reporter says otherwise.

The story from Seth Wickersham of ESPN couldn’t state it more confidently: “The Patriots repeatedly offered Garoppolo four-year contract extensions, in the $17 million to $18 million range annually that would go higher if and when he succeeded Brady. Garoppolo and [Don Yee, the agent for Garoppolo and Tom Brady] rejected the offers out of hand, for reasons that remain unclear.”

But Tom Curran, who has covered the Patriots reliably for many years, also couldn’t state it more confidently: “The Patriots never extended a new contract offer to Garoppolo. No question they discussed it and spitballed about what it would look like — great pay as a backup escalating to starter money when Brady left — but the offer was never formalized. Why? Because it was clear Garoppolo wasn’t staying another year as a backup.”

What to make of those conflicting reports? For starters, Wickersham’s phrasing that Garoppolo rejected the Patriots’ offers, “for reasons that remain unclear,” is odd. Garoppolo’s reasons would seem to be crystal clear: He’d rather make $25 million to be a starter than $18 million to be a backup. Who wouldn’t?

Garoppolo knew the time was coming when he would either be traded to a team that saw him as its starting quarterback, or that he’d hit free agency, where the only way the Patriots could keep him would be to franchise him at more than $23 million, fully guaranteed, for the 2018 season. Then in 2019 the process would repeat, only this time the franchise tag would be $28 million fully guaranteed. Why would Garoppolo take $18 million a year to remain Brady’s backup when he knew that the Patriots would have to pay him a lot more than that to keep him? And why would he want to spend his prime years backing up Brady, who keeps saying he has no plans to retire, when he could go elsewhere and be a starter?

Another important factor to consider in all this is that Yee represents both Garoppolo and Brady. Both of his clients are better off if they’re both starters than if they’re on the same team, where only one can start. It’s better for Brady that the first time he struggles next year there aren’t hot takes about how the 41-year-old is aging and it’s time to go to Garoppolo. And it’s better for Garoppolo that he’s a starter right now, not a guy just hoping to replace a legend some day. Yee would have been doing a bad job representing both of his clients if he had urged Garoppolo to sign a team-friendly deal to stay in New England.

In that light, the two reports might not conflict as much as it would initially seem. Either the Patriots didn’t offer Garoppolo a contract, or they offered him only a contract that he would obviously turn down, which isn’t much of an offer at all. There’s nothing unclear about that.

53 responses to “Reports conflict on whether Patriots offered Jimmy Garoppolo a new contract

  1. Is it really important at this point? I mean, he is in SF – they really like him, the Patriots have Brady for several more years so, who cares?

  2. Key word here is “formal”; Don Yee is in constant contact with New England’s front office. New England likely did throw those numbers at Yee/Jimmy G and the latter balked.

  3. At least now JG gets to play while he’s still young. TB would have made sure he never saw the light of day in NE.

  4. .
    Jimmy knew for fact that he was good enough to start and win in the NFL. It wasn’t about the money. It was about the opportunity to play.
    .

  5. Why would Garoppolo take $18 million a year to remain Brady’s backup when he knew that the Patriots would have to pay him a lot more than that to keep him? And why would he want to spend his prime years backing up Brady, who keeps saying he has no plans to retire, when he could go elsewhere and be a starter?
    ————-

    He wouldn’t. But the reason fans and media in New England think he would is that they have this quaint notion that it’s a goal of every player in the NFL to play for the patriots. Newsflash: these guys want to get on the field and they want to make money. If they can do that with a great team like New England, fine, if not they are certainly willing to do it somewhere else

  6. I think Tom Brady was more worried about the competition off the field than on the field. Maybe both. All the girls used to go crazy for Tom, now all the attention is on Jimmy. Get him outa here!

  7. Tom Curran is a Brady fanboy. He basically backs up the premise of the article, that a contract was discussed, outlined, and rejected by Garoppolo, with the minutia of detail that a contract was not typed and submitted to Garoppolo.

    This is the Brady-crew trying to save face with nitpicky arguments that do not detract at all from the main idea of the story that Brady is an insecure ego-maniac. His TB12 method is a bunch of garbage as well, yeah it’s healthy, but he gets hit less in an entire seasons than every other player on a field gets hit in 2 games. He’s dillusional.

    Long live Jimmy Garoppolo!!!

  8. If there’s any discord between Kraft, Brady, Belichick, the only thing I can see is that Tom expected to lose his job to Garoppolo at some point and Kraft wasn’t going to let that happen to the greatest player he’ll ever have. Kraft told Belichick he wasn’t going to trade Tom like he had so many others so there was no point in keeping Garoppolo around. Belichick might have thought of it as a slight, but I think Brady has probably earned the right to be an over the hill QB for a few years. The crazy part is that Brady is still better than Garoppolo right now and this Pats team is built to win now, so none of this mattered for this year or next anyway.

  9. It sounds like quibbling over whether an official offer was made or if Garoppolo’s agent just let them know he wouldn’t be interested in that kind of a deal.

  10. Seth wickersham was supposedly coming out with a massive cheating story on the Patriots a few tears ago after deflategate. He wrote about warm gatorade bottles and trash cans….this is where that story should end up. ESPN..please!

  11. Congrats BSPN for making this the new playoff leading story…we hear about all sorts of conflicts internally with all teams but because it’s New England and so many angry people desperately beg for them to fall from grace, this will grow wings.

    I actually appreciate your timing. If you truly know and follow the Patriots you know they thrive and come together over conflict and doubt outside the locker room and they limit distraction across the board. Let’s assume the BB & TB relationship is more tense than normal, what better way than to come together to stick it to the league and press with their suspiciously timed leaks.

    I’d love to see them light up the next 3 teams and then all the whiners and haters can watch BB, TB and BK all hugging and celebrating post game when fradger has to hand yet another lombardi trophy over.

  12. First I will admit I am a Pats fan but the latest story in ESPN about the fighting between those three individuals has got me thinking. I don’t care where you work or what you do, if as a reporter you wanted to write an column about a troubled workplace you could find enough unhappy employees to say something negative about the workplace to write the article. Factor in that they can remain anonymous, it would be even easier Now that does not mean that there is something going on, there must be, how bad it is is really the question.

    If you do not believe this look no further than most of the news outlets in the country, they all have an agenda, grab the viewer! Due to the culture of today’s media readers have to run every article through a filter and hope to gain enough information and come to an accurate depiction of what is really going on. Obviously ESPN has chosen to follow this pattern, but with their financial situation as bad as it is I would not be surprised to hear they have directives from their editors to write whatever they need to to gain readership. Very Sad…

  13. It’s semantics. An outline of what a contract could look like was likely discussed. And it never went anywhere because Garropolo wasn’t going to be content to sit on the bench. He has his own career to worry about and focus on.

    The issue isn’t whether a contract was formally offered or not. The issue is whether the patriots wanted Jimmy to stay to take on the starting job from Tommy Boy. Pretty sure they did. And pretty sure Tommy isn’t cooperating by saying he wants to be QB for another five years. That’s the issue.

  14. I bet they floated the idea but never put it down on paper. So technically there was no offer … but in reality there was.

  15. I don’t doubt that Belichick wanted to deal with Shanahan. But this ESPN claim seems like a stretch: “At the combine this past February, Kyle, weeks into the 49ers job after being the offensive coordinator for the Falcons, met with Belichick for hours to learn from his team’s humiliating Super Bowl loss.”
    Hours? Learning from the loss?

  16. And so the unraveling begins. This is what Wickersham does; he takes rumors and conjecture and weaves in the veins of truth to make people believe whatever drivel he’s trying to push.

  17. Tensions are obvious because coach B obviously wanted TB to announce plans to retire since he “might” have a couple years left playing at a high level. Coach B knows JG could keep the good times rolling indefinitely but pushing God out of a moving car in isnt an option until his play slips ..and it will soon.
    @nowinstuation

  18. Jimmy G is going to be a great QB. The Pats already have the GOAT at QB. He will be there for the foreseeable future. Bob Kraft loves TB and knows how much he means to the team, the fans, and the region. Even if TB regresses over the next few years, he will still be better than 95% of the competition. Fortify the O-line and the defense and TB will deliver several more great years for the Pats. There are no guarantees in life (or pro football), but if I had to rely on someone to lead my team for the next years, it would be Tom Brady (and I don’t think there are many teams that wouldn’t agree with that). Even at 40-45, he is in better shape, both physically and mentally than any QB of any era. The haters will have their day one of these days, but they will have to wait until TB decides it’s his time to clean out his locker. I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were them.

  19. As I’ve posted before, that ESPN “story” is nothing more than TMZ type “reporting” and conjecture. And this is coming from someone who was a fan of ESPN up until the last year. Even their 30 for 30 news programming is starting to be more conjecture than hard hitting reporting.

  20. Everyone should understand that it will take the biggest contract in NFL history for Jimmy to sign with SF. And SF should absolutely do it. You say it is risky to give him that much money, i say it is far more risky if they do not.

  21. .
    Curran has a reputation for being a straight shooter. He’s not some sort of Patriots “house man”.
    .

  22. And don’t forget the fact that when Brady does retire, there will be some big shoes to fill. It will not be any easy position for anyone to be in.

    Success for any QB correlates to the QB that previously held that role. And with success comes the pay.

    It’s the same way with coaches…..who wants to fill the role of a retiring successful coach? They almost always want to go to a team where they success, if they make it, is all theirs.

  23. The Patriots can’t keep both QBs. JimmyG was offered relatively good money but he wanted to be a starter. BB said the situation is not sustainable. So Jimmy was traded to a team that BB thinks will give him a chance to be successful even if they have to settle for just a second round puck when they could have gotten more for him. BB wanted to do right for JimmyG because he can’t ask JimmyG to do more than what he has given to the Patriots. BB is not a jerk. The Patriots “ rode “ the situation as far as they can. Would any coach really trade away Tom Brady? Seriously.

  24. Meh, now we are down to what constitutes an ‘offer’ how much parsing of this nonsense has to happen before we move on to the actual games that are going to be played starting tomorrow? There’s nothing new in any of this.

  25. If Tom Brady was a normal QB, then Garoppolo would be the succession plan. But Brady is a 40-year-old who led the league in passing, who’s probably going to be league MVP, and who stands a good chance to win the Super Bowl.

    That’s about as outlier as you can get in this sport.

    I feel for Pats fans who feel like they came *this* close to jumping straight into another great franchise QB, a la Green Bay or Indy, but the timing just wasn’t quite right.

    Maybe we’ll get a Pats-Niners SB next year to tie up the story with a bow. 🙂

  26. This whole story is stupid. You can argue that Pats could have gotten a better deal for Jimmy G at the beginning of this season or the end, but when you have the GOAT and he is playing at MVP-level, Jimmy G was not going to start.

    Kraft’s, Brady’s or Belichick’s feelings or egos have nothing to do with it.

    And like Florio says, why would Jimmy G accept a big pay cut to hold a clipboard on the sidelines for god knows how long.

    I am looking forward to reading the ESPN’s reports of the brewing feud between Omarosa, Mookie, and Kim Kardashian.

  27. As for the Patriots you’re Darned if you do and Darned if you don’t. But, they still have Brady playing at a high level and it will take a season or two to see if Garoppolo ends up being Brady esque or not. I bet the Broncos wish that they had had that problem.

  28. To be honest, I’d leave to if I were Jimmy and that’s nothing against the Patriots. Sure, he’d like to stay and play for a great franchise, but he wants to be a starter and Brady isn’t leaving anytime soon. He’s languishing on the bench and not developing. It’s somewhat similar to the Favre/ Rodgers situation where Rodgers was itching to get his chance but the Hall of Famer ahead of him doesn’t want to stop playing. At some point, one of them has to go in order to be fair to the players.

    A backup QB is a great gig if you know your limitations. Jimmy G is franchise QB material, and it’s not fair to him to keep him on the sidelines.

  29. I know it was talked about as an option, but why would Garropolo want to take less AND not start his career, playing 2nd fiddle for 2-3+ more years?

    It’s not fair to him or the Pats, really.

    Are people this stupid? This trade happened 2 months ago!

  30. 6ball says:
    January 5, 2018 at 10:53 am
    .
    Curran has a reputation for being a straight shooter. He’s not some sort of Patriots “house man”.
    .

    6 2 Rate This

    ——————–

    Except he works for NBC and Comcast and that pesky 500 mil+ lost in the last 2 years may have forced him to have his superiors tell old Tommy Curran to play an ESPN or Herlad style “journalist” or else.

    I can tell you Curran is on thin ice now within the oreganization and a lot of respect has been lost.

    Reiss sold out and went to ESPN and now Curran has sold out. Follow the money…..

  31. viffty says:
    January 5, 2018 at 9:56 am
    At least now JG gets to play while he’s still young. TB would have made sure he never saw the light of day in NE.

    14 3 Rate This

    ——————————

    pretty much

  32. 18 million a year to ride the bench isn’t much of an offer according to Michael David Smith? Especially when it included incentives if he succeeded Brady?

    Sounds to me that is a perfectly acceptable and generous offer.

    Now if Jimmy G and his agent wanted more, that’s fine. But when your backup QB is likely in the top 12-15 of QB’s salary wise, and he doesn’t have to play, well, that would be a hell of a deal.

  33. tylawspick6 says:
    January 5, 2018 at 12:01 pm
    I know it was talked about as an option, but why would Garropolo want to take less AND not start his career, playing 2nd fiddle for 2-3+ more years?

    It’s not fair to him or the Pats, really.

    Are people this stupid? This trade happened 2 months ago!

    Yes, they are, based on believing that texts from 1/2 year prior constituted proof of anything. Stupid and jealous not to mention the “media” having it’s knickers in a twist b/c BB owns them.

  34. You can bet everything you own that the NFL is salivating at a possible Superbowl next year between the pat’s with Brady and the Niners with Jimmy G!

  35. Billsman says:
    January 5, 2018 at 10:16 am
    The beginning of the end to the Patriots dynasty right before our eyes. Love it!
    =================

    I ran into another Bills fan last night who LOUDLY lectured me (because of my Patriots hat, nothing else) in front of strangers that I was in for a rude awakening because this Patriots run of excellence couldn’t last and a drought was coming for Patriots fans and we would all be suffering misery.

    My reply to him, just as loudly, was that I suffered through 40 years of drought with the Patriots and that I am perfectly happy and appreciative of their winning already, and that I don’t care if the Patriots win the Super Bowl again in my lifetime.

    He couldn’t even respond. He had to walk away. I hate to say it, but it is kind of fun knowing how tormented some Bills fans feel by the Patriots’ domination of the NFL. I remember when I was younger I was always happy for the Bills when they made it to those 4 Super Bowls…

  36. tylawspick6 says:
    January 5, 2018 at 12:04 pm
    6ball says:
    January 5, 2018 at 10:53 am
    .
    Curran has a reputation for being a straight shooter. He’s not some sort of Patriots “house man”.
    .

    6 2 Rate This

    ——————–

    Except he works for NBC and Comcast and that pesky 500 mil+ lost in the last 2 years may have forced him to have his superiors tell old Tommy Curran to play an ESPN or Herlad style “journalist” or else.

    I can tell you Curran is on thin ice now within the oreganization and a lot of respect has been lost.

    Reiss sold out and went to ESPN and now Curran has sold out. Follow the money…..
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    Is that why Reiss is on Patriot’s All Access every week? You know, one of the tv shows that Kraft owns?

    Please don’t make Patriot fans look bad with this drivel. It’s bad enough you act like a troll half the time, we don’t need this.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!