ESPN’s Adam Schefter explained during an appearance on Bleacher Report’s “Stick to Football” podcast that he doesn’t believe the Patriots seriously considered the idea of trading backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo at all this offseason.
“This is interesting on a lot of levels because there was so much Garoppolo conversation during the offseason,” Schefter said, via WEEI.com. “I don’t think that the Patriots ever considered trading him, and I know when the reports came out that they weren’t dealing him there were people who were instantly skeptical. ‘Oh, this is just trying to raise the price for the Patriots. Nobody is offering —‘ No, they were never trading Jimmy Garoppolo. Period. That was the case in February, and in March, and in April. It didn’t stop teams from calling to inquire, but there wasn’t a team out there that was going to be able to put together an offer that would have changed the Patriots’ thinking with trading Jimmy Garoppolo.”
Schefter fully expects the Patriots to try to figure out a way to keep Garoppolo in New England next year, as opposed to allowing him to walk in free agency.
“Now, again, going forward, how is that going to operate and how is that going to work — will the Patriots risk losing Jimmy Garoppolo? My own sense is no. They are going to figure out a way one way or another to keep him there — whether that means signing him to an extension, or franchising him, or making it work,” Schefter said. “We’ll see how that plays out. I don’t think they are going to lose him. I don’t think they want to lose him. I think they recognize how good they think he is — many of us don’t know that right now because we haven’t seen him play on a consistent basis. They have. They’ve watched him practice. They’ve seen him in practice. They know what he is and isn’t capable of. They are big believers in him.
“Again, I think the Patriots recognize they have what they believe is a commodity and a successor in the wings and they have developed him, put a lot of time in him. They don’t want to lose him. I don’t know how they work it out, but somehow some way something tells me they will find a way to get it done.”
Many thought the Patriots would trade Garoppolo this offseason, considering that his value was high enough to likely net them a first-round pick and possibly more. However, even teams with a ton of draft capital like the Browns weren’t able to trade talks off the ground with the Patriots, which implies that they’re serious about keeping him long term.
Tom Brady is coming off of another Super Bowl win and has said he has no plans to step away in the next few years, despite the fact that he’s entering his forties.
This sets up a situation where the Patriots may have to use their franchise tag on Garoppolo in 2018 or attempt to sign him to a new contract, which could be difficult, even with Brady playing for a below-average salary.
Garoppolo, 25, is a former second-round pick of the Patriots back in 2014. He is entering the final year of his four-year, $3,483,898 rookie contract and stands to make a base salary of $820,077 to go along with a $75,000 workout bonus for the 2017 season.
In 2016, Garoppolo completed 68.3 percent of his passes for 502 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions for the Patriots over the course of six games.
We’ll have more regarding a Garoppolo and the Patriots as the news is available.