The Jimmy Garoppolo reporting, which prompted on Wednesday a mild outbreak of ESPN-on-ESPN crime, continues to overlook the most important factor regarding whether a trade will happen: Whether Garoppolo wants it.
His recent “your guess is good as mine” routine conceals this dynamic, but the reality is that Garoppolo won’t be traded for significant compensation if he refuses to do a long-term deal with his new employer. If he doesn’t want to play for a given team at all, the likelihood that he’ll do a long-term deal decreases to nearly nil.
What team would give up a first-round pick and more for a player who is a season away from the Kirk Cousins franchise-tag square dance? While plenty of teams have shown over the years an ongoing willingness to do dumb things, it would be a new level of dumb to send a large haul of picks for a player who provides no guarantee regarding his ongoing employment.
Then again, there could be a team or two willing to engage in that level of dumb in an effort to find a franchise quarterback. Especially since dumb is one of the reasons some of the teams looking for franchise quarterbacks don’t have one.