Patriots reportedly could've gotten No. 4 pick in 2018 NFL Draft for Jimmy Garoppolo

It has been just over two months since the Patriots traded away Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers, and even looking back on it now, it still qualifies as one of the most shocking moves of the 2017 season. 

After spending the entire offseason insisting that they weren't going to trade Garoppolo, not only did the Patriots get rid of him, but they gave the 49ers a bargain of a deal. All San Francisco had to do to land Jimmy GQ was send a second-round pick to New England.

The reason that's a steal is because the Patriots definitely could have gotten more in return for their former backup quarterback. A lot more. 

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Browns were ready to offer a first-round pick to the Patriots and even contacted them about making a deal for Garoppolo just days before the trade deadline. Apparently, the Browns made the call on Oct. 28, which was just two days before the Patriots shipped Garoppolo off to San Francisco. 

To land Garoppolo, the Browns were ready to offer the first-round pick they received from Houston as part of the Deshaun Watson trade during the 2017 NFL Draft. If the Patriots had taken that deal, the Browns would have Garoppolo and the New England would be holding the fourth overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. 

Of course, when the Browns made the call in October, the Patriots wouldn't have had any idea that they were getting the fourth overall pick. On the day Garoppolo was traded, the Texans were 3-4 and no one yet knew that Watson would be out for the season with an ACL injury. 

That being said, even if Belichick had known he was getting the fourth overall pick, there's a good chance that he wouldn't have traded with the Browns anyway. If you believe the version of events in ESPN.com's story from Friday, once Belichick was forced to trade Garoppolo, he basically viewed Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers as the only option. 

Basically, the Browns never had a chance to land Garoppolo, and we'll never know why, unless Belichick wants to explain. Now, there are multiple theories on why he didn't want to cut a deal with the Browns. According to ESPN.com, Belichick may have wanted to keep Garoppolo out of the AFC and he also felt that Garoppolo would thrive under Shanahan. On Garoppolo's end, it's believed that his camp made it clear the he would never sign a long-term deal with the Browns, which means he could've left Cleveland -- after getting franchise tagged for one or two seasons -- and signed with an AFC rival. 

The bottom line here is that the biggest loser in this scenario ended up being the Browns. The Patriots got a draft pick, the 49ers got their quarterback of the future and the Browns are still in total disarray after finishing the season 0-16. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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