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Would Jimmy Garoppolo Have Welcomed A Return To Patriots? 'I Don't Know'

BOSTON (CBS) -- The Patriots finally have someone that they believe can be their franchise quarterback in the post-Tom Brady era. And it's not Jimmy Garoppolo.

With the 15th overall pick in lat week's draft, the Patriots selected Mac Jones out of Alabama. With that selection, any dreams or plans to acquire Jimmy G. and bring him back to Foxboro appear to be dashed.

Whether Garoppolo was the backup plan in the event that all of the first-round QBs were off the board at No. 15, we'll never know. But given Belichick's affinity for his 2014 second-round pick, it does seem like a reasonable possibility.

Alas, it doesn't appear that reunion will be happening. Nevertheless, the quarterback was asked by Damon Amendolara on CBS Sports Radio if he would've welcomed a return to the Patriots.

"Um ... you know, I don't know," Garoppolo answered. "We never really got to cross that bridge."

That bridge might have been crossed if another team -- perhaps Washington, New Orleans, or maybe Minnesota -- traded up to get ahead of the Patriots in the early-teen picks of the first round to take Jones. Had that happened, then we might have seen just how serious the 49ers were about wanting to keep Garoppolo for 2021.

But that didn't happen. Jones was available, the Patriots took the national champion, and now it doesn't seem like a Garoppolo-Belichick reunion will ever happen.

In the interview, Garoppolo added that he's learned that nothing goes as planned or expected in the NFL, as he had initially planned to be a Patriot for life.

"You never know where your path is going to take you in the NFL. I thought I was going to be in New England for my entire career. That didn't go as planned," Garoppolo said. "So it's kind of one of those businesses, you just gotta be ready for anything. You gotta be on your toes, gotta be able to react, and however the story plays out, you've just gotta be able to run with it."

For now, Garoppolo remains with the 49ers, even after the team drafted quarterback Trey Lance with the third overall pick -- after giving up two future first-round picks to move up to that spot to take him.

With Garoppolo due some $26 million this season, the 49ers still have a decision or two to make on Garoppolo. But the 29-year-old seems to be taking it all in stride.

"No, not really," Garoppolo said when asked if he's felt frustrated or uncomfortable by this offseason of speculation about his status with the team. "My dad's an electrician, grew up in a blue collar household, so it's, I don't know. It's one of those things, you gotta roll with the punches. Whenever an opportunity presents itself, you gotta be ready to take advantage of it. That's kind of what I've done throughout my entire career, and that's what I'm gonna keep doing. So like my dad said, nothing's going to be handed to me. Nothing's going to be handed to anyone in this league. Just, you gotta go in there and work."

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