New England Patriots Rumors: Backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo To Get Franchise Tag?

Just two days after rumors swept the National Football League that New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was on the verge of a trade — possibly to the Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears or San Francisco 49ers — a new claim from one of the top NFL reporters currently covering the league maintains that New England will not trade Garoppolo after all, even if another team steps up with a blockbuster offer.

In fact, ESPN reporter Adam Schefter now insists, the Patriots may not even want to part with Garoppolo following next season either, when the highly-regarded 25-year-old backup will become eligible for free agency. The Patriots would be willing to place a franchise tag on Garoppolo at that point — an extraordinary measure for a backup that would cost New England at least $20 million for a quarterback who is unlikely to play a single meaningful snap.

“This is nothing about smoke, this is nothing about leverage, this is nothing about (the Patriots) not getting the price they wanted. This is about one thing plain and simple,” Schefter told Boston radio station WEEI on Wednesday morning. “They really like Jimmy Garoppolo and they don’t want to get rid of Jimmy Garoppolo.”

Watch Schefter deliver his report on Garoppolo on an earlier ESPN SportsCenter appearance from the NFL combine in Indianapolis, in the video below.