Around the NFL, there’s a widespread belief that the Patriots have no plans to trade backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and see him as not just the backup to Tom Brady in 2017 but the successor to Brady some day down the road. But in Cleveland, there’s a different view.
Talk of the Browns trading for Garoppolo continues, with two of the most clued-in Browns reporters, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland, both having new stories today indicating that the Browns will talk to the Patriots about trading for Garoppolo. Grossi even goes so far as to say Garoppolo is the top contender to start the season as the Browns’ starting quarterback, ahead of holdover Cody Kessler.
So is Garoppolo available in a trade? Sure he is, at the right price. Every player in the league is available for the right price. If the Browns offered the first overall pick, the 12th overall pick and the 33rd overall pick in this year’s draft, plus left tackle Joe Thomas, the rights to suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon and Kessler to take Garoppolo’s place on the Patriots’ roster, does anyone seriously think the Patriots would turn all of that down, just to keep a player who might not play for years if Brady stays healthy?
But the Browns aren’t going to make that offer. The question is whether there’s any realistic trade package that the Browns would be willing to give up, and the Patriots would be willing to accept. And most indications out of New England are that the Patriots aren’t willing to give up Garoppolo for anything but an over-the-top offer.
Still, in Cleveland, there’s a belief that Garoppolo could be coming to town. The Patriots may say no, but the Browns will ask.