What Dolphins’ Trades With 49ers, Eagles Means For Pats & Jimmy G
If you happened to miss the biggest news of the day, it came in the form of two NFL trades executed earlier this afternoon.
First, the Miami Dolphins dealt the #3 overall pick to the San Francisco 49ers for the #12 overall pick, a 2021 3rd round pick and 1st round picks in '22 and '23.
Then, Miami flipped that #12 overall pick and shipped it to Philadelphia, along with a 1st round pick in 2022, for the #6 overall pick in the draft.
In case you're lost, the updated NFL Draft order is: #1 JAX, #2 NYJ, #3 SF, #4 ATL, #5 CIN, #6 MIA, #7 DET, #8 CAR, #9 DEN, #10 DAL, #11 NYG and #12 PHI.
On the surface, it would appear the Niners made their leap to draft a quarterback the organization would feel more comfortable with than Jimmy Garoppolo, who has fallen out of favor despite guiding the team to the Super Bowl two seasons ago. Adam Schefter reported, however, that while the move puts San Fran squarely in the QB mix, the team is holding on to Jimmy G for the time being and have no plans to trade him.
Chances are that's just lip service from GM Jon Lynch & Co. The talk for over a year has indicated that, should the Niners find a way to move on from Garoppolo, they would do so to get out from underneath his bloated contract.
Should Jimmy G reach the trading block, New England would immediately be thought of as the odds on favorite to land him due to the obvious connection. While the 29-year-old is set to make $24-million in 2021 with a cap hit of $26.4-million, San Francisco would only be on the books for $2.8-million (his dead cap number) which is chump change in the NFL and the reason so many believe he will be moved.
If you're wondering how the Patriots could inherit a QB with such a hefty salary after spending a large portion of their available money in free agency, it's actually quite simple.
According to Brian Phillips of PatsPulpit.com, should Jimmy G be traded but refuse a pay cut with his new team, said team could theoretically tack on three void years to his current deal and convert most of his '21 cash into a signing bonus. Garoppolo's '21 cap hit could be as low as $5.96-million if that were to happen. Garoppolo has a no-trade clause in his contract, but it's assumed he would waive that to return to Foxborough.
The other issue at play here is, had the Pats' been planning on taking a QB in the 1st round of next month's draft, it is now very likely that all five top-prospects will be off the board by the time New England makes it selection at 15th overall.
Trevor Lawrence to the Jaguars at #1 is as certain as it gets, while BYU's Zach Wilson being selected 2nd overall - be it by the Jets or a team they deal that pick to - isn't too far behind. The 49ers, no matter what they say, will end up taking a QB at #3. You don't give up the haul they forfeited today and not take a QB of the future. Though, interestingly enough, some analysts such as NBC Sports' Chris Simms thinks the Niners could take Alabama's Mac Jones at that slot.
The majority of mock drafts have Justin Fields or Trey Lance going 4th overall to the Atlanta Falcons, who may look to jump start their rebuild, while the last remaining QB will likely get snatched by one of either Detroit, Carolina or Denver.
Miami is now another wild card in the top-10, since after trading down to #12 the team immediately leapt back up to #6. Will they nab a security blanket in case Tua Tagovailoa doesn't pan out?
No matter what takes place in the draft, do not be shocked if the next domino to fall in the NFL off-season is Jimmy G flying east to reunite with Bill Belichick and be the final piece to the mastermind's master plan. Especially with how easy it is for team's to manipulate cap numbers. The deal makes too much sense and seems too obvious to not come to fruition.