Just one day after a top NFL “insider” reporter insisted that the New England Patriots would refuse to trade Jimmy Garoppolo, their highly-regarded, 25-year-old backup quarterback, new rumors say that the Patriots have already received a “preliminary offer” for a Garoppolo trade. And at least one more is likely on the way, according to a report on the Boston sports talk radio station website, WEEI.com.
The original report comes from Cleveland Browns’ correspondent Mary Kay Cabot, who revealed the preliminary offer in a Thursday column on the Cleveland Plain Dealer, citing a “league source” contradicting a report on Wednesday by ESPN reporter Adam Schefter.
Schefter, on Wednesday, insisted that the Patriots had made up their minds not only to keep Garoppolo — who distinguished himself starting the 2016 season filling in for suspended Tom Brady — but to possibly keep him for another year as well, even if it meant slapping him with a franchise tag that could cost the team more than $20 million.
“This is nothing about smoke, this is nothing about leverage, this is nothing about them not getting the price they wanted,” the ESPN reporter told WEEI radio in an interview. “This is about one thing plain and simple: They really like Jimmy Garoppolo and they don’t want to get rid of Jimmy Garoppolo.”
In the first two games of the past season, Garoppolo threw for four touchdowns and 496 yards in just over five quarters of play before suffering a shoulder injury and departing.
But Cabot’s unnamed league source directly contradicted Scheffer’s report, saying that New England remains open to trading Garoppolo if the offer for the 2014 second-round draft pick out of Eastern Illinois is right.
“Everything is still on the table,” Cabot’s source told her. “The source insists coach Bill Belichick will part with Garoppolo if the compensation is right,” Cabot wrote. “One preliminary ‘offer’ has already been floated and another is expected to come soon from a second team.”
Whether the offer came from the team that Cabot covers, the Cleveland Browns, she did not specify in her Thursday article. The Cleveland reporter did not give any details of the “preliminary offer” to the Patriots for Garoppolo.
But the Browns, who won only one game last season, hold both the No. 1 overall pick in the April 27 NFL draft, as well as the 12th pick — and the Browns currently have no leading candidate for the starting quarterback position. That is why they are expected to make a move for Garoppolo, or select a quarterback with their top pick in the draft.
They are expected to use that pick on 22-year-old North Carolina Tar Heels signal caller Mitch Trubisky, according to Cabot, assuming that they are not able to persuade the Patriots to part with Garoppolo.
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But other NFL experts predict that the Browns will spend that top overall pick on prolific pass-rusher Myles Garrett out of Texas A&M, which would make their need for a quarterback more urgent. The Browns could target another backup quarterback, A.J. McCarron of the Cincinnati Bengals, in a trade if they fail to nab Garoppolo, Cabot reported.
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