Source: Belichick did not receive a “trade Garoppolo” mandate

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One of the many juicy nuggets in the Seth Wickersham article regarding the alleged internal dysfunction at the Patriots appears in paragraph 26. There, Wickersham reports that coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft had a meeting two weeks before the November 1 trade deadline, a meeting that lasted half of a day and left the office “buzzing.”

“The meeting ended with a clear mandate to Belichick,” Wickersham writes. “[T]rade Garoppolo because he would not be in the team’s long-term plans, and then, once again, find the best quarterback in the draft and develop him. Belichick was furious and demoralized, according to friends. But in the end, he did what he asks of his players and coaches: He did his job.”

Although the Patriots issued a vague and general comment, telling Wickersham that there are “several inaccuracies and multiple examples given that absolutely did not occur,” the team has not identified any specific instances that, in the team’s opinion, did not occur. A source with knowledge of the dynamics has pointed out to PFT that, as it relates to the Garoppolo trade, the one thing that did not occur is that Belichick was not given a mandate to trade Garoppolo.

The notion that Belichick was told to trade Garoppolo creates the impression that ownership opted to excise from the roster the primary in-house alternative a 40-year-old quarterback who wants to play until he’s 45. But the Patriots had tried, as Wickersham reports (and as PFT separately has learned) to try to get Garoppolo to stay, under a bridge-type deal that would have paid him very well to be the backup and then starter money, when Brady finally retires.

Ultimately, the Patriots had to decide whether to take a second-round pick in 2018 (which could become the next quarterback groomed to eventually replace Brady) or to let it all play out over the next several months, with the worst-case scenario being a Garoppolo departure as an unrestricted free agent, with a third-round compensatory draft pick in 2019. What if Brady’s play had slipped dramatically from November through January? What if they once again win the Super Bowl and Brady drives off in a Hyundai, one that is actually being driven by Mrs. Brady?

In 2009, the Patriots stickhandled their way through a delicate quarterback spot by tagging and trading Matt Cassel. The same thing could have been done with Garoppolo, if the Patriots had been able to carry $22.5 million or so in cap space for Garoppolo until they deal him to a new team.

If ownership were going to force a trade of Garoppolo in order to neutralize the primary threat to Brady’s ability to remain the starter, wouldn’t that push have come during the offseason, when several teams reportedly were interested? At the time, the thinking was that Belichick wanted multiple first-round picks for Garoppolo; why didn’t Kraft tell Belichick to drop his price and take a first-rounder?

With the pre-franchise tag window for trading Garoppolo closing and with Belichick perhaps hoping to use that second-round pick from the 49ers to help get a new quarterback in April, it makes sense to think that Belichick, exasperated by the inability to get Garoppolo and his agent to accept a bridge deal, decided to get 2018 draft-pick value for a guy who quite possibly would have walked away for no immediate compensation.

68 responses to “Source: Belichick did not receive a “trade Garoppolo” mandate

  1. Saw a report that maybe he traded out of sabotage. Kraft giving all the power to Tommy and straying away from Bill. Interesting take, not sure of it’s validity.

  2. So what are the chances the this story conveniently appears just in time to distract from the Raiders clearly violating the Rooney Rule? Gruden WAS the hot story, for about a day or two..

    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…..

  3. Something happened, otherwise they would not have given up JG for as little as they did. Something is clearly going on in that office, and on the field. Break it apart all you want but at the end of the day stories like this really aren’t created from thin air, despite what Pats nation would like you to believe. Where there is smoke there is usually some fire.

    Besides, Brady’s play over the last 5 weeks of the season has hardly been stellar. I get his ego but it is time to hang it up and let the younger players play. BB – who I think is the real genius behind this run, not TB12 – should be focused on what’s next in the QB1 role. They may have given up a credible one for a song. There needs to be some explanation for that.

  4. What? Fake news coming from the worldwide leader in Sports? Is there any question why their audiences continue to dwindle? I remember when I used to believe what I read in News papers and saw on the nightly news. Now I believe absolutely nothing if I don’t see it for myself.

  5. The same thing could have been done with Garoppolo, if the Patriots had been able to carry $22.5 million or so in cap space for Garoppolo until they deal him to a new team.

    In theory yes they could, but in reality…

    Garoppolo 22.5M as the franchise tag for 2018
    Brady 14M for 2018

    There is NO chance this would be acceptable to Brady and who can blame him? Who would think a guy with barely 1 and a half games of real NFL experience being paid 50% more than the GOAT is acceptable?

    I know Brady is a team guy when it comes to being paid… but even the GOAT has his limits. No way the Patriots could get away with this.

  6. I’m so confused…which of the media’s lies do we believe?

    He was offered a contract.
    He wasn’t offered a contract.
    He was told to trade JG.
    He was not told to trade JG.
    There is a riff in Foxboro.
    There is no riff in Foxboro.

    Get your lies in order!!!

  7. With the pre-franchise tag window for trading Garoppolo closing and with Belichick perhaps hoping to use that second-round pick from the 49ers to help get a new quarterback in April, it makes sense to think that Belichick, exasperated by the inability to get Garoppolo and his agent to accept a bridge deal, decided to get 2018 draft-pick value for a guy who quite possibly would have walked away for no immediate compensation.

    ———

    That’s a very logical assessment, and one that haters will totally ignore.

  8. For 17 years an extraordinary level of trust between coach, owner and player has let Brady get his in cash earnings while still playing under a team friendly cap number. For all the ‘Brady takes less’ nonsense the truth is he has been paid more than anyone in the history of the game not named Manning and that includes the supposedly greedy Drew Brees. Brady has never played the last year of a contract and his deals are routinely redone (and a bonus given) with a couple of years left on them. The team has felt comfortable paying him up front and trusting him to do the right thing. In turn he has trusted the team to take care of him on the next deal as well, that type of faith doesn’t just evaporate. If it weren’t for Brady’s suspension and Garoppolo being showcased for a couple of games thereby creating a demand for him, Jimmy G would have been extended and he’d still be in Foxboro. Those are verifiable facts, everything else is just talk.

  9. .
    The benefit of trading Jimmy G instead of allowing him to depart via free agency is that the Patriots picked his new team.

    If he had ended up in Buffalo or, God forbid, the Jets, Patriots fans would have hit the roof.

    BTW… based upon what we know of the Kraft-Belichick relationship over a considerable period of time, would the thought of a 76 year old Kraft issuing personnel mandates seem unlikely to you?
    .

  10. Here are some clear and obvious realities:

    1. People are afraid to deal with BB in trades. At least, some people are.
    2. 75% of the league is led by moron owners and GMs who bask in the money, but get caught with their pants down repeatedly becaause rthey’re arrogant and lazy. See the Jets, Broncos, Colts, Ravens, etc.
    3. BB was ONLY going to deal JimmyG to an NFC team, unless completely overwhelemd by a deal. Sashi brown was likley fired for not upping the ante to get JimmyG.

    All of these things are not BB’s fault.

    Leave it to 2017 society, Goodell and ESPN to try to punish greatness and mock it.

    LOL

    PS HOw is RG3 worth to the SKins what he was worth and they don’t flip BB 2 1st rders for JimmyG? They could have then dealt Cousins.

    LOL!!

  11. Oh look it’s almost as if ESPN was trying to attract viewers with nothing going on in the NFL until Saturday. Look there have been disagreements amongst the big 3 for years but to insinuate that Brady has the majority of the influence is stupid. His friends like Lawyer Milloy and Wes Welker were let go without a second thought so how could Brady influence the Pats to trade Garoppolo?

  12. You know I’m not a patriots fan, but man all this unessecary hate towards them is making me like them

    ___________________________

    Then you should love the Seahawks.

  13. I read the piece and I just don’t see any bombshells here, it’s much ado about nothing, NE held on to Jimmy for as long as possible, perhaps too long. But Brady’s MVP caliber season erased any concern of a dramatic drop off in play this season, and it was clear that Jimmy wasn’t s

  14. Also, no GM would help out BB by letting him off the hook on 22.5 mil tag. The only reason he pulled it off with Cassel for a high 2nd rd pick, is because Pioli went to the Chiefs.

    Add in how many dumb owners/GMs there are out there who have wasted more money and time on QB busts, who never even bid on JimmyG, and voila, here is the result.

    Basically, the GMs in Arizona, Chicago and Washington in particuluar, if not the Giants, should have been fired.

    Sashi Brown was canned for only offering a 1st as an AFC team, where John Lynch secured him for a 2nd rder.

    Cleveland has been looking for a legit QB since Vinny Testaverde in 1995, ironically UNDER Bill Belichick.

  15. Keep these headlines up because soon it will be another Super Bowl win for the Pats. They have you nfl fans ans writers all worked up and I love it. I love the reactions of jealousy. Im not even a Pats, well I am now but U of M produced the best QB ever in pro football history

  16. A reminder: the Patriots got a guaranteed top 10 second rounder for Garoppolo, whereas if he had left as a FA the team would have gotten a 2019 third rounder tacked on to the END of the round (almost two entire rounds lower). Given that the NFL values future picks a round lower than their true future slots, that means the decision was between a certain pick from 33-42 and risking Garoppolo leaving for draft compensation worth around the 130th pick in next year’s draft.

  17. Why not tag and trage JG? Let me explain.

    Going into this season the Patriots were 25M under the cap, but they suffered a lot of expensive injuries and this cap space that they might carry over to next year dwindled fast. It is at 3M now.

    The Patriots knew by the trade deadline that there was no way they were going to have 23.5 M to franchise Jimmy G long enough to trade him next offseason, since before they finished any trade they would have missed out on tons on free agents, both from inside and outside. They learned that from franchising Cassel in 2009. It was a tremendous drag on offseason team-building.

    So they had to trade JG at the 2017 trade deadline or lose him for a compensatory pick in the 100-range, not in the 2018 draft but in a later draft.

    Why SF? They were a well-managed last-place team (at the time) that figured to deliver a pick in the top 4 in the second round. Turns out JG was so good that it has dropped to 43 or 44, but that is better that #100 in a later draft.

    Highest value? No. But they thought it was fair and it was in the NFC.

  18. …signigng to stay as Brady’s backup. If you could look in a crystal ball and tell in the spring of 2017 how this would all play out, you would have definitely traded Jimmy and gotten a better return. But with a 40 year old QB who has played the equivalent of an extra 2.33 seasons of football (when you add in his 36 playoff games), why would you trade a guy that you believed you could win a Super Bowl with if Brady went down? That, as much as anything else may have precipitated the move, where B.B. determined that this team, with all their injuries and the misses in free agency, just wasn’t good enough to win a SB without Brady.

  19. We probably could have gone undefeated with Garropolo at the helm. The AFC is super weak this year.

  20. redlikethepig says:
    January 5, 2018 at 10:31 am
    In Patriot world all criticism is fake.

    13 23 Rate This

    —————————-

    Criticism of what exactly?

    How about stop trying to cheat my team every year and doing it in indirect ways like defaming, lying and sensationalizing to distract at the end of the year or before a SB appearance?

    When you’re watching the greatest franchise in sports history do what it does, there really aren’t legit “criticisms”.

    At best, whining about the ROI on a JimmyG deal is as much as you could offer, but considering how many dumb teams there are out there, with 75% of the league so poorly managed, this isn’t all that surprising.

    Teams are flat out stupid and JEALOUS BB had two Pro Bowl QBs on the roster, while teams like the Jets and Browns haven’t had a franchise QB in over 20+ years.

  21. Why does ESPN hate the Patriots so? Every time the playoffs roll around they report more fake news to try to distract them and take them down. Meanwhile, the Patriots ignore the lies and just quietly go about their business of preparing for their next opponent. Constantly being under attack is a great motivator.

  22. charliecharger says:
    January 5, 2018 at 10:58 am
    So they traded Jacoby Brissett, knowing they were going to trade Garoppolo and be left with only one QB on their entire roster? Strange, to say the least.

    3 1 Rate This

    ————————–

    No, it’s not. It’s called maximizing your ROI. Obviously, it’s a flat return on JimmyG and Brissett for that matter, but they were going to CUT Brissett, so at least they kept a 4th rder.

    It’s not BB’s fault he’s 75 steps ahead of people and you don’t get it yet.

  23. fjw2 says:
    January 5, 2018 at 11:05 am
    Why does ESPN hate the Patriots so? Every time the playoffs roll around they report more fake news to try to distract them and take them down. Meanwhile, the Patriots ignore the lies and just quietly go about their business of preparing for their next opponent. Constantly being under attack is a great motivator.

    0 0 Rate This

    ——————

    MONEY

    Follow the MONEY.

    99% of the customer base hates the Pats, so they use it to make money off of them.

    Kraft should have sued the Herald in 2008 and a lot of this would never be happening today.

  24. ———-
    Garoppolo 22.5M as the franchise tag for 2018
    Brady 14M for 2018

    There is NO chance this would be acceptable to Brady and who can blame him? Who would think a guy with barely 1 and a half games of real NFL experience being paid 50% more than the GOAT is acceptable?
    ———-
    Remember when Brady was injured and out almost the entire year? If that happens again next September, and Garoppolo were still on the Pats’ roster, how much do you think Garoppolo would be worth then?

  25. DolFan says:
    January 5, 2018 at 11:02 am
    To go from at least two 1st round picks to accepting a 2nd round pick, it had to come from Kraft.

    0 1 Rate This

    ——————–

    There were no 2 1st rd picks offered. There was 1 from the Browns. And, Sashi Brown was promptly fired for being a moron.

  26. fjw2 says:
    January 5, 2018 at 11:05 am
    Why does ESPN hate the Patriots so?

    it’s good for business! At least temporarily, in the long run things like this are why they are going down the drain.

  27. Bored with this already….

    If an ESPN exec is online reading articles like this, all proud of the attempt at causing trouble for the Patriots, allow me to make the following statement:

    This is the 2nd year of my complete boycott of ESPN. Due to my Fios package, your channels are still included, however, you get my viewing for Patriot MNF games, the college football national championship, and probably 3-4 Sunday Night baseball marquee matchups throughout the season. In the past, I watched Sportscenter around the clock, ESPN was the channel on in the background no matter what I was doing. I’m happy to say that due to your gross negligence in reporting inaccuracies towards my teams and many others, I REFUSE to ever view your website and I only view your station during premium games(less than 10x annually).

    This will also be the last year for that as well. Once I heard your BSPN ratings are taking a massive dive, I’m upping my efforts and cancelling your station altogether. I’ll do without Sun Night Baseball and I’ll watch Patriot’s MNF games at a bar. I patiently wait for the day when you announce you’re filing chapter 11.

    And. I’m. Not. Alone.

  28. LyinRogerMustGo says:
    January 5, 2018 at 10:41 am

    The same thing could have been done with Garoppolo, if the Patriots had been able to carry $22.5 million or so in cap space for Garoppolo until they deal him to a new team.

    In theory yes they could, but in reality…

    Garoppolo 22.5M as the franchise tag for 2018
    Brady 14M for 2018

    There is NO chance this would be acceptable to Brady and who can blame him? Who would think a guy with barely 1 and a half games of real NFL experience being paid 50% more than the GOAT is acceptable?

    I know Brady is a team guy when it comes to being paid… but even the GOAT has his limits. No way the Patriots could get away with this.

    per SPOTRAC 2018 Brady 22 Million cap hit 14 million dead cap
    Apparently Roger isn’t the only one lying

  29. ballhawk20 says:
    January 5, 2018 at 10:32 am
    Saw a report that maybe he traded out of sabotage. Kraft giving all the power to Tommy and straying away from Bill. Interesting take, not sure of it’s validity.

    ————

    You’re not sure if it’s validity??? It’s ridiculous.

  30. realityonetwo says:
    January 5, 2018 at 10:59 am
    Uh, yeah. An unnamed “source with knowledge of the dynamics” refutes the story. Yeah, I believe that.

    0 0 Rate This

    ———————–

    Let me make this VERY clear:

    I believe Jeff Howe as a beatwriter with integrity over John Tomase, also of the Boston Herald.

    It’s just that simple.

    Anyone believing fake “journalists” and “unnamed sources” with proving a primary source, never went to college. It’s that simple.

  31. So, for the first time in 17 years, Kraft, eschews being the greatest owner ever because he lets his GOAT GM/Head Coach do what he thinks is right, decided to put his foot down, and order BB to do something related to football operations?

    Sure, that sounds right.

  32. mrkbuilders says:
    January 5, 2018 at 11:19 am
    Bored with this already….

    If an ESPN exec is online reading articles like this, all proud of the attempt at causing trouble for the Patriots, allow me to make the following statement:

    This is the 2nd year of my complete boycott of ESPN. Due to my Fios package, your channels are still included, however, you get my viewing for Patriot MNF games, the college football national championship, and probably 3-4 Sunday Night baseball marquee matchups throughout the season. In the past, I watched Sportscenter around the clock, ESPN was the channel on in the background no matter what I was doing. I’m happy to say that due to your gross negligence in reporting inaccuracies towards my teams and many others, I REFUSE to ever view your website and I only view your station during premium games(less than 10x annually).

    This will also be the last year for that as well. Once I heard your BSPN ratings are taking a massive dive, I’m upping my efforts and cancelling your station altogether. I’ll do without Sun Night Baseball and I’ll watch Patriot’s MNF games at a bar. I patiently wait for the day when you announce you’re filing chapter 11.

    And. I’m. Not. Alone.

    1 0 Rate This

    —————————-

    Exactly.

    Here is the pattern:

    Goodell and the owners have a 13 billion dollar MNF deal with ESPN. The NFL is losing tv revenue at an alarming rate, for a variety of reasons.

    ESPN and the Boston Herald just had a mass round of layoffs (again), yet they keep doubling down with this fake news approach to try to make a quick buck to look good for the advertisers.

    The problem is, everyone with a college degree knows the score. Children, morons or adults who choose to play into this garbage, is the audience they want. But, it’s waning and they keep doubling down thinking somehow, some way, it will bounce back.

    Obviously, it won’t.

    These “writers” are instructed to do this, and they’ve sold their soul and their journalism degrees for the almighty dollar, just like the owners and Goodell have to cheat the Pats.

  33. realityonetwo says:
    January 5, 2018 at 10:59 am
    Uh, yeah. An unnamed “source with knowledge of the dynamics” refutes the story. Yeah, I believe that.

    —————

    Read the BB, Brady, Kraft joint statement. They can have disagreements but the article is way over blown. As the statement said, they stand united. Believe that.

  34. mazenblue says:
    January 5, 2018 at 11:00 am
    Keep these headlines up because soon it will be another Super Bowl win for the Pats. They have you nfl fans ans writers all worked up and I love it. I love the reactions of jealousy. Im not even a Pats, well I am now but U of M produced the best QB ever in pro football history

    7 1 Rate This

    ————————-

    Good luck to the Lions in the future when they hire Patricia and he and Quinn finally right that ship.

    Classic, old school franchises deserve good leadership.

  35. Lost here is that by trading Garapolo the Pats had some control over where her ended up (Not in Denver, Baltimore, Miami, Buffalo, KC or any AFC city). That was if he does turn out great they face him head-to-hear very rarely.

  36. man is this ever so simple….

    > Trade him when they did because a deal could not be worked out long term. ( get paid well and sit and wait)
    > Don’t wait to franchise him and have the Jets (division opponent) pony up the draft pick and contract.
    > Trade him to a team that would produce a low draft pick , but you will only face once every 4 years.
    > Work out with the team that you are trading him to, so you get a worthy Backup QB
    (Hoyer is a known here in NE)
    > With a history of being able to get good/serviceable QB’s in the draft use the pick to get one now for 3 – 4 years down the road. That can be done with dealing up and moving picks around. just for the record they Patriots have drafted 5 QB’s that are still in the league today.
    > This is all hyperbole by a washed up sports news station.

    Bank on all three main player being back next year and in the playoffs again.

  37. So ths story is one if tjose things all built on unnamed sources, and it phrases its stayements as questions. (A common trick to avoid getting sued over the statement) And I see the claims refuting it are also some unnamed source.

    So what are the odds that this is just nonsense noise in all directions?

    Actually Florio presents some logic here using real facts that doesnt prove but does suggest that arguments being used to build this story are indeed nonsense.

  38. This all comes down to the fact that it was a tough, situation for the Patriots. Sure, they could have paid Jimmy G $22.5 million next year, but then they wouldn’t have cap space to improve their defense- which is really where they need it.
    So what what YOU have done?

  39. If anyone thinks there is an issue in Foxbough get a life.
    These guys are all business and have planed out the next 5-7 years.
    For those that have ignored how they do things should have had paper and pencil in hand 18 years ago.
    Hang on, the ride has just begun.

  40. First the cable companies, then the networks, then news, NOW sports are all jumping on the “big brother social media let’s create controversy” train.

    Journalism is dead.

  41. Why are patriots fans such whiny, sensitive little babies? Are you unaware how much you’ve won? Are you unaware that the best player ever in the most important position (maybe goalie in hockey?) dropped out of the sky and landed in Foxborough? Stop crying that the league hates you and blah blah blah and enjoy what you have while you have it. The organization wouldn’t catch so much flack had you never cheated or as you all see it, manipulated the rules. You cheated the nfl and then lied about it, there was really nothing the league could do short term as it relates to punishment…but long term? This is a multi billion dollar industry, they’re going to come after you every chance they get. In summary, you reap what you sew…eventually

  42. When the 9ers traded their second round pick, they were going to pick second in that round, which would make it an almost first round pick. Now they are picking either 9thor 10th because Garoppolo won 5 straight games for them. Jimmy G hurt his old team. LOL

  43. mrkbuilders says:
    January 5, 2018 at 11:19 am

    Bored with this already….

    If an ESPN exec is online reading articles like this, all proud of the attempt at causing trouble for the Patriots, allow me to make the following statement:

    This is the 2nd year of my complete boycott of ESPN. Due to my Fios package, your channels are still included, however, you get my viewing for Patriot MNF games, the college football national championship, and probably 3-4 Sunday Night baseball marquee matchups throughout the season. In the past, I watched Sportscenter around the clock, ESPN was the channel on in the background no matter what I was doing. I’m happy to say that due to your gross negligence in reporting inaccuracies towards my teams and many others, I REFUSE to ever view your website and I only view your station during premium games(less than 10x annually).

    This will also be the last year for that as well. Once I heard your BSPN ratings are taking a massive dive, I’m upping my efforts and cancelling your station altogether. I’ll do without Sun Night Baseball and I’ll watch Patriot’s MNF games at a bar. I patiently wait for the day when you announce you’re filing chapter 11.

    And. I’m. Not. Alone.
    ———————————

    All this time I thought you were just an insane anonymous commenter, but in reality, you’re one man taking down ESPN!

    You’re doing it! You’re really doing it. A real dastardly move would be to stream games illegally instead of watch them at the bar, but I’m sure you know that because of your boycotting prowess.

    I wonder if you’re also boycotting the NFL for the kneeling earlier in the year… actually, I know you weren’t, because your boycotts are so effective it would have wiped the NFL right off the radar and out of our memories.

    Anyway. Godspeed warrior! We’re all so proud!

  44. Great Headline and it is a great story but considering where it came from (ESPN) and who it is about ,three extremely smart professionals, I doubt much or any of it is factual.

  45. theandy59 says:
    January 5, 2018 at 11:02 am
    …signigng to stay as Brady’s backup. If you could look in a crystal ball and tell in the spring of 2017 how this would all play out, you would have definitely traded Jimmy and gotten a better return. But with a 40 year old QB who has played the equivalent of an extra 2.33 seasons of football (when you add in his 36 playoff games), why would you trade a guy that you believed you could win a Super Bowl with if Brady went down? That, as much as anything else may have precipitated the move, where B.B. determined that this team, with all their injuries and the misses in free agency, just wasn’t good enough to win a SB without Brady.
    ————————————
    What misses in free agency? Gillislee? Burkhead? Guy? Gilmore? Those are the only Free Agents the Pats signed from another team during the 2017 offseason. Guy has been one of the Pats best DL this year. Burkhead has had a very good year except for missing a few games with injuries. Same could be said for Gilmore, with a few ups and downs. Gillislee has been the teams biggest bust but he only makes $5 million a year. The pats signed a few players during the season that were released or off of another teams practice squad and those were for the league minimums, big deal. Then there were a few trades but they weren’t free agents and none broke the bank.

  46. The pats have been facing this since 2005 – they have to have a qualified backup for Brady, just as for every other position. Now that Brady is 40 the issue becomes critical.

    Personally I wish he had quit last year after the Super Bowl – Go out ON TOP after a comeback for the ages, and we would have Garopollo coming into his own.

  47. Brady is a cancer. The Pats were stupid to trade Jimmy G and they are going out to lose a coach who knows how to coach. When this all unravels, the Pats will be worse than the Browns.

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