NFL trade rumors are all the rage at the moment, and right at the top of the possible transactions rumored to occur involve the New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. With Garoppolo’s great play in 2016 while filling in for Tom Brady, most fans would believe that New England has found their future replacement in Garoppolo. The only problem is that Tom Brady doesn’t seem to be slowing down, even at the age of 40.
Now the big question for New England is, do they trade a better than average backup while his stock is still high, or do they keep him in the mix for the future? With less than four weeks to go until the 2017 NFL Draft, Patriots owner Robert Kraft didn’t close the door on a possible Garoppolo trade, in fact, he may have opened it even more.
According to Cleveland.com, Kraft was vocal on the subject at the annual NFL owners meetings yesterday. However, Garoppolo’s fate may be left in head coach Bill Belichick’s hands.
“I don’t have the right demeanor of our coach,” Kraft said. “I charge him to handle all football matters. We’re privileged to have the greatest quarterback in the history of the game (Tom Brady), and it looks like he’s playing pretty solid. He’s off the charts, in my opinion, and we’re lucky to have him. That’s the most important position on the team, needless to say. I don’t think anyone can say you have too much depth at that position. I charge him to make those decisions, Bill, and I’ll leave that with him.”
While Kraft did show that he has the utmost confidence in Brady’s play and Bill Belichick’s abilities to make the football decisions, Kraft did mention that Brady assured him recently that he “was willing to play for six or seven more years” despite turning 40 in August. At that pace, Tom Brady may be playing until he is 50!
Brady is the best quarterback in the game today, that is hard to argue. However, if he is planning on playing even three or four more seasons, Garoppolo may not want to hang around watching from the sidelines for that length of time.
Bill Belichick has made it clear (at least in the first few weeks after the Super Bowl) that he will not trade Garoppolo under any circumstances, but until a serious offer is put on the table, you can never say never in the NFL.
While Belichick said Garoppolo isn’t a subject of trade talks, the Cleveland Browns may still be interested in trying to land him, and it never hurts in asking.
Jimmy Haslam told a small group of Cleveland Browns’ writers that he would inquire about Garoppolo’s status, but would not elaborate in when and how. Haslam did say he deferred such talk to head of football operations Sashi Brown.
“We can’t comment on any of that,” Haslam said. “Any question like that should be addressed to… I certainly won’t talk to Robert (Kraft) about it so that’s a Sashi question. I think you all know we can’t comment on any players under contract with any teams.”
No matter who does the talking for the Browns, you can bet that the New England Patriots are willing to listen. After all, you never know what a team may offer. It does seem a bit odd that the Browns would have so much interest in Garoppolo after trading for Brock Osweiler from the Houston Texans, but keep in mind, Cleveland may try and deal Osweiler before the season begins.
Jimmy Garoppolo has also been rumored as striking interest from the New York Jets, Chicago Bears, and Houston Texans so far this offseason. Would Robert Kraft okay a trade if the price is right, or is it too big of a risk not having a dependable QB like Garoppolo behind Tom Brady? The answer to that question should be coming very soon.
[Featured Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]