The trade deadline in the NFL is typically pretty nondescript and frankly, a little boring. That changed this year as the 49ers acquired Jimmy Garoppolo from the Patriots in exchange for a second round draft pick in the 2018 NFL Draft tonight. With Garoppolo on the last year of his deal and the Patriots clearly not wanting to pay a premium or even franchise tag their backup quarterback in the off-season, they obviously believed it was time to finally make the move. They’ve wanted a first round draft pick in exchange for their prized backup for a while and with the 49ers sitting at 0-8, that second rounder proved to be close enough for New England. This trade is a big one in fantasy and reality, so it merits a long look at all the players whose values were affected by the move.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB SF
Owners who have been patient and held on to Garoppolo through thick and thin have finally been rewarded as he’ll be the 49ers starter as soon as humanly possible. Over his three year career, Garoppolo has appeared in 17 games and attempted just 94 total passes for 690 yards. However, he’s looked great in preseason action and has been a highly coveted asset in league circles for quite some time. Trades like this are risky as you never know if you’re getting the next Matt Schaub or Matt Cassel but the 49ers are clearly desperate for a leader and they’ve now hitched their wagon to Garoppolo.
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It will take a few weeks for Garoppolo to learn the offense and get acclimated to a new system. However, Kyle Shanahan was able to get the best out of Matt Ryan and Garoppolo has a chance to finally show the world he’s more than a high priced backup. The 49ers will surely take the year to see just what they have in him and respond accordingly by signing him to a long-term deal, using the franchise tag or (gasp) moving on if he doesn’t work out. It’s a gamble for them, but it’s one that didn’t cost them a top ten draft pick and one that clearly addresses a need.
Garoppolo should be treated as a QB2 with upside in dynasty leagues. The rest of the season will be huge for him (and his wallet) and expect his ADP below to spike as a result of today’s news.
Brian Hoyer, QB FA
Hoyer was released shortly after the acquisition of Garoppolo was announced. After starting the season at the helm, Hoyer was predictably average, throwing for 1,245 yards and four touchdowns with four interceptions and a lost fumble. His 28.8 QBR and 74.1 quarterback rating just didn’t cut it. Simply put, Hoyer is a backup quarterback who can help a team in practice and in short stretches. However, his days as a starter for a team are likely over as he’s now looking for his seventh team in just eight years. Ironically, I can see a scenario where New England signs him after he clears waivers. After all, he started his career there way back in 2009 and the Patriots have now traded both of their backup quarterbacks after dealing Jacoby Brissett to the Colts earlier this season. Regardless, Hoyer should be dropped in any league that doesn’t somehow value players whose names rhyme with “lawyer” in a strange way.
CJ Beathard, QB SF
Well, that was fun. Beathard had a chance to stake his claim as the quarterback in the future for the 49ers but that lasted all of two games. In losses against the Cowboys and Eagles, the young Iowa product showed very little as he completed just 39-of-74 passes for a little more than 400 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions, two fumbles and numerous inaccurate passes. He’s going to be the backup of the 49ers moving forward but he really doesn’t belong on any dynasty rosters at this point. Even if Garoppolo doesn’t work out, the 49ers have seen enough to know Beathard just isn’t the answer. It was a short leash for sure but it was clear to anyone watching that Beathard isn’t exactly NFL ready.
San Francisco Skill Players
On paper, this is great news for Carlos Hyde, Pierre Garcon, George Kittle and everyone else on the offense. Still, it’s hard to just bump them all up in value just because they seemingly have an upgrade at quarterback. We’re going to need to see it before believing it fully.
Tom Brady, QB NE
This move pretty much ensures Brady will be playing until he’s 67 years old and destroying the hopes and dreams of fantasy opponents or anyone who roots for a different team in the AFC East. His value is locked in as a veteran quarterback who is certainly on the backside of a Hall of Fame career, but one who can also bring a contending dynasty team a title. [insert groans here]
Kirk Cousins, QB WAS
Hmm. Most really believed Cousins was destined for San Francisco after the season. Unless Garoppolo has an epic face plant, this seems highly unlikely now. At the end of the season, Cousins may have a long list of suitors but it clearly look like San Francisco won’t be one of them. This will undoubtedly be a story to watch as we move ahead.
Owners who have held on to Jimmy Garoppolo over the past few seasons have undoubtedly passed up many trade opportunities or waiver claims by burning a roster spot to keep him. Those same owners certainly hope they’ve struck gold now and what better place to have that happen than San Francisco.
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK
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