Rob Ninkovich Believes Patriots Made Mistake Trading Jimmy Garoppolo

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by on at 6:25PM

While it doesn’t happen often, the New England Patriots do make mistakes.

And former linebacker Rob Ninkovich thinks they made a big one on Oct. 30.

New England traded backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for a second-round draft pick, and the Eastern Illinois product has looked like a tier 1 signal-caller in the four starts he’s gotten for the 49ers.

Ninkovich went on WEEI’s “Dale & Holley with Keefe” on Friday and explained why he believes the Patriots whiffed when they traded Jimmy G.

“I think that was a mistake trading Jimmy because Jimmy’s an unbelievable quarterback,” Ninkovich said. “He’s a guy that you can build a franchise around. Obviously, he’s going to be the franchise guy in San Francisco.”

Garoppolo has gone 4-0 since taking over as the 49ers’ starting QB in Week 13, and Ninkovich believes he has all the tools to become an elite signal-caller in the NFL.

“I’m not a GM,” Ninkovich said. “I don’t know the perfect answer here, but it’s hard when I see a guy that’s really talented … He’s accurate. He can move in the pocket. He’s smart. He understands how to manage a game and that’s what you want in your quarterback is a game manager. He understands the right thing to do in different situations.”

And the former linebacker was particularly wowed by Garoppolo’s poise during a game-winning drive against the Tennessee Titans in Week 15.

“I was watching the NFL Films, the two-minute Jimmy had — he was mic’d up,” Ninkovich said. “And it was awesome. I was like ‘Wow, this guy. He’s got the smile. He’s got the tan. Jimmy GQ, he’s in Cali.’ C’mon, it’s unbelievable.”

Garoppolo is in line to get paid handsomely in the offseason and looks primed for big things in 2018, just not in New England.

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