Jimmy Garoppolo Instagram goodbye appears to be a hoax

AP

For about an hour on early Friday morning, social media was abuzz with an apparent goodbye to New England from Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Did Garoppolo’s post mean he had been traded?

Apparently not. According to multiple reports, people close to Garoppolo say he’s not on Instagram at 4 a.m., and the post appears to be a hoax.

Garoppolo has been the subject of a great deal of trade scrutiny, with the Browns as the team most likely to acquire him. It’s true that the Browns, from all accounts, are high on Garoppolo. And it’s true that the Browns have the draft pick ammunition to go after him in a blockbuster trade.

But multiple reports say the Patriots have no plans to trade Garoppolo and would rather have him on the roster as insurance in case Tom Brady gets hurt or begins to show signs of age. Garoppolo becomes a free agent next year and won’t be Brady’s backup forever, but that’s what he remains for now, Instagram posts or not.