FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady wished his backup Jimmy Garoppolo well in the aftermath of Monday’s surprising trade that sent Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for a 2018 second-round draft pick.
“He was a great teammate and a great friend. He always will be. I want nothing but the very best for him,” Brady said in his weekly Westwood One interview during halftime of Monday Night Football. “He’s earned the trust of his teammates and the respect of his teammates and that’s all you can ask for as a player.”
Brady and Garoppolo were teammates since 2014, when the Patriots selected Garoppolo in the second round (62nd overall). It is the highest pick the Patriots have used on a quarterback in Bill Belichick’s 18-year tenure as head coach.
Asked by host Jim Gray if he believes Garoppolo will be a good starting quarterback for the 49ers, Brady said, “I certainly hope so. He’s put in all the effort. I’ve watched him for 3½ years and really enjoyed working with him. Hopefully he goes on and does a great job.”
Brady was then asked if he is surprised that the Patriots have decided that he is not only the present, but also the future at age 40.
“Well, I don’t know what that means,” he responded. “This is a week-to-week league. Things change so quickly from week to week, year to year. Everyone is concerned; in my mind, this is all about this season and us trying to win.
“I’m trying to do the best I can for our team like I always do. I’m going to bring it every single day, like I’ve tried to do the last 18 years. I’m focused on this season and I’m sure that’s where everyone else in our organization is focused. We have to go out – we have a bye week this week – and we have to go out and try to win next week.”
Brady relayed that he was at home when he learned of the news, and that he hasn’t spoken with Garoppolo.
Asked if he is surprised, he said, “Well, this is the time of year where we’ve been part of a lot of trades, our team has, over the years. Again, as players, we try to show up to work every day doing the best we can do, and a lot of other things take care of themselves. When other teams want good players, whether it’s coming to our team or leaving our team, those are the types of opportunities that present themselves; they come up. Like I said, he’s been a great teammate and a great friend and he always will be. I want nothing but the very best for him.”