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Julian Edelman rips Jimmy Garoppolo for not playing through injury with Patriots in 2016

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Another former teammate, Jimmy Garoppolo, criticizes the quarterback for his handling of injuries with the New England Patriots.

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Former Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman said on the latest edition of this week’s I’m an Athlete podcast that he and several teammates were angry at Garoppolo during the 2016 season, especially when Garoppolo, who stood in for the suspended Tom Brady, was ruled out of a game against Buffalo Bills in week 4 of the season. Garoppolo’s place was taken by Jacoby Brisset, who was recovering from his own injury.

“I don’t know, we are all footballers here,” Edelman said. — But Jacoby [Brissett]he tore ligaments in his thumb in a win over [the Texans in Week 3]. So we move into week four and I think Jimmy was training and then he decided not to play. Jacoby played without thumb ligaments, which is something you can’t do as a quarterback. You can’t grab [the football].

“A lot of guys got mad about it. I won’t lie, I got mad at that. I sacrificed my body all day. All day. ribs, shoulders, 3rd degree, hanging from limbs, just to play.”

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This conversation began with Edelman reading comments made by former Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett last year.

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Bennett called Garoppolo a “bitch” who “quit” his team right before the game.

“That’s why you can’t win with a bitch as a quarterback,” Bennett said at the time.

After that season, Garoppolo was traded to the San Francisco 49ers.

Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo
Martellus Bennett also called Jimmy Garoppolo a “bitch” who quit his team due to the 2016 incident. (John Tlumaki/The Boston Globe/Getty Images)

Although many expected him to become one of the league’s top quarterbacks upon his arrival in the Bay Area, Garoppolo suffered several high-profile injuries. In 2018, he tore his cruciate ligament and missed the remainder of the season. He sprained his ankle in 2020 and that season was also cut short.

Garoppolo only played two full seasons, first in 2019 and then again last year, though he split time with rookie Trey Lance.

Garoppolo is expected to be traded before the start of the season, although he is currently recovering from off-season shoulder surgery. The 30-year-old has one year left on his five-year, $137.5 million contract.

Although he was admittedly angry about the situation in 2016, Edelman said that now that some time has passed, he has a better understanding of Garoppolo’s motives.

“You should also look, he just got paid,” Edelman said. “He was paid [nearly] $30 million [a season]. So maybe I’m a dumb guy who can’t make that much money sacrificing his team. I guess I played for the memories, not the money.”


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