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NFL Notes: Jimmy Garoppolo, Cowboys, Falcons, Patriots

Jimmy Garoppolo

Ben Volin of the Boston Globe writes that the Patriots should trade backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo before this year’s draft and continue to surround Tom Brady with talent.

Volin mentions that the three teams continually mentioned as landing spots for Garoppolo are the Browns, Bears and 49ers.

If the Patriots can’t get the Browns to part with the No. 12 overall pick for Garoppolo, Volin thinks they should still consider moving him for a second-round pick, considering that these three teams are drafting at No. 33, No. 34 and No. 36 overall in round two.

Cowboys

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made it clear that they plan to target pass-rushers this offseason during an appearance on “J Dub City” on ESPN Dallas 103.3.

If I have a chance to bring one of these premiere pass rushers, one of these war daddies that takes two to block, if I have a chance to get a player like that – I would … it’s not a question of that,” Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News. “It’s a question of where is he? And who gives him up if he’s a veteran, or where is he in the draft, or where is he anywhere? So, yeah we do need pressure. We’re going to try to do something about it.

Falcons

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff mentioned that their focus for free agency will be to address their own players first before considering possible additions.

Every year, we’ve been pretty aggressive in free agency, and we think this year our focus is going to be on signing a number of players on our team who are up,” Dimitroff said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “That’s going to be the main focus.

Dimitroff also said that he doesn’t think they have any major areas of need that they must address this offseason.

“I really believe that we don’t have any major holes in this roster,” Dimitroff said. “We are continuing to build the depth of this roster. We are continuing to get better and better along those lines. I don’t look at any (one) area on the field (as deficit).”

Patriots

  • While others have said that franchising LB Dont’a Hightower could be too costly for the Patriots, Ben Volin believes they should use the designation if the can’t get an agreement in place on a long-term deal and continue to work towards an extension before the July 15 deadline. Franchising Hightower would run them around $14.5 million fully guaranteed and could be used as the starting point for an annual base salary in negotiations.
  • No surprise, but Volin expects the Patriots to use a first-round tender on CB Malcolm Butler this offseason. However, Volin says New England should then work on signing him to a long-term contract.
  • Other moves suggested by Volin include re-signing DL Alan Branch, restructuring WR Danny Amendola‘s contract, re-signing RB LeGarrette Blount to a one-year, incentive-based contract and drafting or signing a kicker
  • Some speculative free agent targets, according to Volin, could include TE Luke Wilson and Ryan Griffin, DE Courtney Upshaw, and CBs Johnthan Banks and Nolan Carroll.