Allow me to put a disclaimer out there: I know very little about this situation, as does just about everybody. The Patriots have kept their traps shut about this, as has Jimmy Garoppolo’s camp. That is, until ESPN’s NFL Insider, Adam Schefter, had something to say about it. He has been adamant, on more than one occasion, that the backup quarterback will not be traded anywhere. Yet, nobody believed him. It’s not like he’s one of the most reliable insiders of this generation or anything. Yet, it is truly astonishing that very few people believe him.
The reasoning behind not trusting Schefter is not because of his pedigree, but because of the team he reported about. Rarely has a head coach and general manager, Bill Belichick, thought in such absolutes. Surely, if a team offered him two first-round picks for the backup out of Eastern Illinois, he would have to take it, right? After all, this is the man who snorts and grunts at the microphone at press conferences only to give the same answer over and over, “We are going to do what is best for the team.” And if a team out there offered him a package including a 2017 first-round pick, Belichick would be hard pressed not to accept the trade offer. What everyone is missing, though, is a key component of the trade talks, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. He has one year on his rookie contract left and is slated to test the open market, where he could surely command near the 4 years, $72 million, with $37 million guaranteed that quarterback Brock Osweiler signed with the Houston Texans last offseason. After watching his career spiral downwards, Garoppolo and his agent, Don Yee, can not help but think how much Jimmy G can command on the open market. And that is where lies the issue between the Patriots and the trade partners, who are interested in Jimmy Garoppolo.
As I stated before, Bill Belichick never, never, thinks in absolutes. NEVER. If a trade proposal will help his team, you best believe he will go forth and accept that trade proposal. However, if a team is offering the New England Patriots, say, a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft, for Garoppolo, don’t you think that team would love to sign him to an extension? A team will never trade anything of value for a rental player, probably a fourth-round pick, at best. That is where the issue lies in trade talks. Again, this is mostly speculation and connecting the dots, but doesn’t it make sense that Jimmy Garoppolo and Don Yee are looking at the contracts being thrown out in free agency and not be licking their chops? And what does any athlete truly want? Freedom.
Freedom to choose their own teams, and you can not blame them. Why does Adam Schefter act so adamant, when making radio appearances, saying that he is beyond positive that Jimmy Garoppolo will be in a Patriot uniform come next season? It’s because he knows Garoppolo will not sign a long-term deal with that team. Therefore, his stock plummets! And no way will Bill Belichick ever trade his most valuable bargaining chip for a mere fourth-round pick, not when he’s trotting out a 40-year-old quarterback. Garoppolo is great insurance for him. So when Schefter eventually goes on another radio show or writes a column, adamantly defending his report of Jimmy Garoppolo not being traded, do not think of Bill Belichick thinking in absolutes. Instead, think about Jimmy Garoppolo and his agent, licking their chops and waiting for the perfect team to offer him an absurd amount of money and an opportunity to.