Patriots to trade Garoppolo to 49ers for draft pick

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After more than a year of trade rumours involving Jimmy Garoppolo, the New England Patriots are finally dealing the fourth-year quarterback.

The Patriots are trading Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for a second-round draft pick in a move first reported by ESPN.

Garoppolo, who started a pair of games in 2016 while Tom Brady was serving a four-game suspension, goes from the defending Super Bowl champions who are 6-2 this season to a winless 49ers team that have not had a winning season since 2013.

The 49ers were expected to go after Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins next year to reunite him with coach Kyle Shanahan, who was Washington's offensive coordinator for Cousins' first two NFL seasons.

The 49ers play host to the Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants over the next two Sundays before entering their bye week. Garoppolo is not expected to play Sunday, but should be fully integrated into the system following the bye to see if he is San Francisco's future franchise quarterback.

Journeyman Brian Hoyer was the 49ers' starter to begin the season, but has since given way to rookie C.J. Beathard, who has thrown for 647 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions this season. Garoppolo, who was once considered the heir apparent to Brady, has thrown for 690 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions in 17 career games with those two starts.

Brady told Westwood One Radio he considers Garoppolo a "great friend" and wishes him "nothing but the very best".

"He's put in all the effort," Brady said. "I've watched him for three and a half years and really enjoyed working with him and hopefully he goes on and does a great job."

Hoyer, who started the first six games, is expected to be released to make room for Garoppolo on the roster. 

The trade indicates the Patriots have faith in the 40-year-old Brady to play well into his 40s. It also leaves Brady as the only quarterback currently on the Patriots roster. Hoyer was with the Patriots from 2009-11 and is expected to sign with the team this week.