SANTA CLARA — The 49ers traded a 2018 second-round draft pick to the New England Patriots Monday evening for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.Garoppolo was the backup for Tom Brady with the Patriots. The 49ers did not immediately confirm or deny the report.
To make room on the roster for Garoppolo, the 49ers released veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer. Hoyer, 32, started six games for the 49ers this season, threw for 1,245 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions. His quarterback rating was 74.1. Before this season, he signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the 49ers. The trade for Garoppolo apparently ends speculation the 49ers will try to sign Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins after this season.
Garoppolo, 25, was a second-round draft pick and is in his fourth season in the NFL. He is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season — his rookie contract will expire. If he and the 49ers cannot agree to a long-term contract extension, the 49ers can give him the franchise tag to keep him for 2018.
During his senior season at Eastern Illinois, Garoppolo threw for 5,050 yards and completed 53 touchdown passes. He has appeared in 17 games in the NFL and started two. Both starts came in 2016 when Brady was serving a four-game suspension for allegedly deflating footballs.
During Garoppolo’s two NFL starts, he completed 68.3 percent of his passes, threw for 502 yards, completed four touchdown passes, threw no interceptions, posted a quarterback rating of 113.3 and the Patriots won twice. But he injured the AC joint in his right shoulder during his second start and could not finish the game.
The Patriots drafted Garoppolo with the 62nd pick of the 2014 draft. The draft pick the 49ers traded to New England for Garoppolo most likely will be at the beginning of next year’s second round, somewhere around pick No. 33 or 34. The 49ers currently are tied with the Cleveland Browns for the worst record in the NFL and their final record will determine their draft position.
The 49ers still own a second-round pick for next year. In 2016, they traded their third-round pick to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for the Saints’ second-rounder in 2018.
Garoppolo joins a 49ers team that has lost 10 players to injury the past two weeks. Against the Eagles on Sunday, the 49ers finished the game with backup guards Zane Beadles and Erik Magnuson playing offensive tackle.
Kyle Shanahan spoke about the issues his depleted offensive line poses to a quarterback during his Monday press conference.
“It’s difficult for any quarterback, rookie or not,” Shanahan said. “You’ve got so many guys on your roster and all those guys are banged up. I’ve got a lot of respect for some of the guys and how they handled it yesterday.
“We were extremely disappointed with how the game went, but guys like Beadles and Magnuson came in and played positions they never played before. Fusco was struggling to stay in there to just continue to stay in there so we didn’t have to put a tight end on the O-Line.”
After discussing the offensive line, Shanahan expressed confidence in rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard, who has appeared in four games with the 49ers and started two. Beathard has completed 52.7 percent of his throws, completed two touchdown passes, thrown three interceptions and posted a quarterback rating of 65.2. Shanahan said Beathard gives the 49ers their best chance to win.
“I think he gives us a chance to make some plays. I think when things aren’t there, when protection breaks down, he has the ability to make plays with his legs. And I’m enjoying working with him. And I know we’re going to go through some bumps in the road, but I do believe the more opportunities he gets out there, the better chance he has to improve and the more he improves the more our team will improve.”
Less than an hour later, the 49ers traded for Garoppolo.
Free safety Jimmie Ward has a broken forearm and offensive tackle Garry Gilliam has an injured knee. Both players will go on season-ending IR Left tackle Joe Staley may go on IR, too. The 49ers haven’t decided yet. He has a fractured orbital bone.
With Ward out for the season, the 49ers probably will move Jaquiski Tartt from strong safety to free safety, and Eric Reid from linebacker to strong safety. Reid played the past two games at weak-side linebacker after beginning the season as the starting strong safety.
Rookie defensive lineman Solomon Thomas sprained his MCL Sunday against the Eagles. He will miss two to three weeks and return after the bye week.