If you want to place something in the marketplace, no better way to do it than to get it through Adam Schefter. The New England Patriots are playing chess as we start combine week, and here’s what Schefter dropped this morning.
Michael Lombardi, who has worked with Belichick, then added:
The Patriots can think Garoppolo is good and this can still be about increasing his value. New England is in a good–but critical–spot when it comes to Garoppolo. They have no need to trade him right now. The cap space is good, the team is in good shape, and Garoppolo is cheap for one more year.
A year from now, though, there are a couple of ways this could go:
- Brady actually begins to look like a typical 40-year old Hall of Famer and declines, paving the way to justify a move to Garoppolo and signing him long-term;
- Brady still plays at a very high level, and the Pats have to decide if they can franchise Garoppolo in order to try to force a trade then, or to hold him for another year at a salary in line with elite starters, just to bridge to what may be an indefinite future.
So in terms of market value, the time is now, unless you think there is a strong possibility you will have an easier decision in a year.
New England can sit back, though, and play it cool. There have already been rumblings that the Browns would consider trading the 12th overall pick, as they have two in the first round, thanks to the Eagles trade last year.
If you are New England, putting this out there tells the teams with interest in front of that pick to step up your game, and go big or go home. That includes the Browns. New England is running a game for the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd overall pick.
You’ve got Chicago at #3. They are moving on from Jay Cutler. There is no set option in place. Sitting at 3, the Bears are also not guaranteed of getting their first choice among college quarterbacks. We’ve heard plenty of rumblings of Chicago having an interest in the former Eastern Illinois quarterback, and writers are floating “can we trade two 2nds instead of a 1st” ideas (Pats: “no.”)
You’ve got San Francisco at #2. No quarterback. Kaepernick will be gone. Kyle Shanahan needs his guy, and we’ve already heard how much he liked Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo before the draft.
And then you’ve got the Browns again at #1 overall. If you think Garoppolo is better than, say, Mitch Trubisky, then you might still be tempted. You’ve got Cleveland writers already trying to come to terms with it:
I actually wouldn’t be opposed to the Browns sending the No. 1 overall pick to the Patriots for Jimmy Garoppolo if that’s what it takes. Ideally, they’d get him for the No. 12, but if it turns into a bidding war and they have to go that high, why not?
New England has worked the conversation so far this offseason masterfully, with leaks and surrogates talking it up. To say otherwise now? I’m not buying it. Rook to h1, coming for your Queen.