Are the Patriots still hoping to bring back Jimmy Garoppolo?

Are the Patriots still hoping to bring back Jimmy Garoppolo?

New England’s supposed “Plan A” at quarterback entailed a reunion with Jimmy Garoppolo. With Cam Newton back under contract for 2021, could that still happen?

Apparently, yes. Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston appeared on Friday’s PFT PM, and he expressed a belief that the Patriots could indeed acquire Garoppolo, adding him to a depth chart that currently is headlined by the 2015 NFL MVP.

That would make Newton an insurance policy against the possibility that the 49ers ultimately keep Garoppolo. Many believe that the 49ers are looking for an upgrade; if they don’t get one, they’ll have to love the one they’re with.

The Patriots couldn’t afford to wait around, given the possibility that the 49ers will keep Garoppolo. Newton likely wouldn’t have waited around for the Patriots to see whether they’d need him later, so both sides did a deal now.

On one hand, Newton’s contract screams out “backup,” given that he’s making only $5 million in base pay. On the other hand, Newton’s $9 million incentive package is premised on him being the starter.

Presumably, the team’s position is that he still has to earn it. Newton surely believes he will. If Garoppolo ends up back with the team, that could make it a little harder.

Or maybe coach Bill Belichick would find a way to use both guys, embracing the notion that the offense should get its best 11 players on the field — and recognizing that Newton definitely will be one of them, with or without Garoppolo.