The New England Patriots traded quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night.
Tom Brady's backup will head west for the Niners' 2018 second round draft pick, pending a physical exam, the Patriots confirmed Tuesday morning. Adam Schefter of ESPN was the first to report the agreement.
The trade leaves Brady, at 40, as the only quarterback on the Patriots' active roster.
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Garoppolo has impressed in limited NFL playing time. But while he has appeared in 17 games, he has made just two starts, both during Brady's Deflategate suspension to start the 2016 season.
He won those two starts, completing 42 of 59 passes for 496 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. He got hurt in the second quarter of his second start and has thrown just four passes since then.
"Jimmy was a great teammate and a great friend and he always will be," Brady told Westwood One in his weekly spot during halftime of the Monday Night Football broadcast. "I want nothing but the very best for him. He's earned the trust of his teammates and the respect of his teammates and that is all you can ask for as a player."
When the Patriots picked Garoppolo in the second round of the 2014 draft, many felt that they were selecting the heir apparent to Brady. But while his performance inspired confidence, the timing did not. With his contract up at the end of the year, and with Brady showing few signs of aging, the Patriots would have needed Garoppolo to re-sign in New England with the understanding that he would remain on the bench.
The Niners now hope Garoppolo can be the quarterback to lead the franchise out of its recent cycle of losing that started when Jim Harbaugh was let go as coach following the 2014 season. San Francisco won seven games the past two years with Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert sharing the quarterback duties.
Garoppolo is the second backup quarterback to be traded by the Patriots this season. They dealt Jacoby Brissett to Indianapolis last month for receiver Phillip Dorsett. New England now has no backup on the roster for Brady and no quarterback of the future for whenever Brady decides to retire.
The Patriots could try to bring back Brian Hoyer, who began his career as Brady's backup in New England and was with the 49ers this season. A person with knowledge of the 49ers' plans says the team has released him following the trade. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the move had not been announced.