Former Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo literally almost died after being traded to the 49ers back in 2017.
The Patriots taking on the 49ers on Sunday has prompted news outlets to pump out as much Jimmy Garoppolo content as possible this week, and understandably so. After all, the game will mark the first time the two teams have faced off since the 28-year-old quarterback was famously traded to San Francisco back in 2017.
In doing so, the Patriots kept the faith in an aging Tom Brady, and most fans would admit that was the right call by GM Bill Belichick, as they won a Super Bowl and made another in two of his final three seasons. That eternal debate has made a loud comeback over the last several days, but Garoppolo himself revealed a terrifying and largely unknown detail about the trade on the latest edition of NBC Sports Bay Area’s “49ers Talk.”
During the interview, Garoppolo recalled a chilling story of nearly dying the day after he learned of the trade (Oct. 31, 2017), when he was on his way to T.F. Green International Airport in Rhode Island to board a flight to San Francisco.
"“A car jumped off the exit ramp, and was coming downhill at us, toward the driver’s side window,” said Garoppolo. “I just saw headlights and the driver reacted, got us off into a ditch. It happened so fast. I’m in a panic in the backseat, like, ‘Holy … we almost just died, man.'”“The driver turned around — I’ll never forget it — he was like, ‘Whoa! That was awesome!’ And I was like, ‘That was not awesome. That was crazy. But great job!’“It was an interesting morning. Definitely a great start to coming out west.”"
That is absolutely terrifying and the fact that it happened on Halloween really just adds a spooky feel to it all. It couldn’t have been easy for Garoppolo to find out that he wasn’t the long-term answer under center for the Patriots, the team that spent a second-round pick on him three years earlier, and to think that he had a near-death experience before departing for San Fran must have made it an even more daunting move.
Interstate 95 has a reputation of being incredibly dangerous, so this story isn’t the most surprising news in the world. However, that takes nothing away from the sheer shiver that goes down our spines just thinking about what was going through Garoppolo’s mind before his driver swerved out of the oncoming driver’s path and into a ditch.
That’s as traumatizing as it gets, and words cannot begin to describe how relieved we are that the former Patriot came away unscathed. Here’s to hoping that his trip back to the east coast comes without any lunatics driving on the wrong side of the highway.