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Why the Jimmy Garoppolo trade reports are likely true: While We’re Waiting

Happy Friday everyone. Happy to end the week with some Browns / NFL talk here at WFNY. Before we get there, I want to tell you about something.

We’ve started ramping up some of the offerings at Patreon. I had some criticism from someone who left that we didn’t engage enough and I took that criticism to heart. I didn’t know exactly what to do for our patrons, and it kept me from doing anything at all, which was wrong. So now, I’m trying to be far more active. I did a quick podcast just for Patreon supporters. I announced two upcoming podcast guests just to Patreon supporters. If they play nice, I’ll even let them ask a question. So that’s the kind of stuff you’ll get there. If you can, please support today.

Bill Belichick holds all the cards on Jimmy Garoppolo and he knows it

Did you hear this week that the Patriots aren’t “expected” to trade Jimmy Garoppolo? Adam Schefter reported that this week for ESPN. Earlier, Peter King had similar, opinionated sentiments while saying explicitly that he had not spoken to Bill Belichick about it. These two guys are as plugged into the NFL as anyone in the game. I don’t think either one of them is lying or explicitly getting played, because these guys are generally too good to get played badly. Simultaneously I have zero belief that the Patriots lack a desire to trade Jimmy Garoppolo. So, what gives?

I think Jimmy Garoppolo is a new kind of player for Bill Belichick. The Pats have traded quarterbacks previously. They traded Ryan Mallett to the Texans for a conditional pick, which ended up being basically nothing in the 2016 NFL draft. Prior to that, the Pats traded Matt Cassell and Mike Vrabel for the 34th overall pick from the Kansas City Chiefs. That’s a unique trade, however, because the Pats had to franchise Cassel to keep him from hitting free agency first. When they traded him with a franchise tag in place, it probably cost them some of their leverage. All that leverage is in place with Jimmy Garoppolo.

Garoppolo has one more season at just over $1 million on his deal. He’s also playing behind a soon-to-be 40-year-old quarterback. When Cassel was traded, Tom Brady was coming off of a bad knee injury, but he was firmly in his early thirties. The Patriots are in really healthy cap shape with almost $60 million in available space, according to Spotrac. Back when they franchised Matt Cassel, the team had Brady, Randy Moss, and many more players making big money. They were flirting with the cap number of $127 million and things were stretched to the limit. That helps put the Cassel trade into perspective.

I still think the Patriots want to trade Jimmy Garoppolo. I just don’t think they will unless they get a serious offer. If not, why wouldn’t they just do this all again next year and take advantage of a spot-starter level QB (at least) for the low low cost of just over $1 million? They’re not chasing anyone as reigning Super Bowl champions. Unless they get a decent first round pick, there’s little chance that whomever is drafted in exchange for Garoppolo has a chance to make the Pats marginally better. Sure, Garoppolo can’t play at the same time as Tom Brady, but if for any reason Brady misses time, you can’t short change the chance to keep an undeniably championship-level team afloat until he makes it back.

So Bill Belichick gets to have his cake and eat it too in this case. Tell the world – nearly honestly – that you don’t “expect” to trade Jimmy Garoppolo. Let the world look at the questionable draft class of quarterbacks and watch all the QB-needy teams start to gain interest as the combine, workouts, and interviews help build Jimmy Garoppolo’s trade value some more. If nothing develops, there’s no downside to keeping Jimmy G for one more year.

That’s mostly it from me this week. Hope to see some of you on Saturday at the Los Campesinos! show at the Grog Shop. Should be a great night of rock music.

  • RGB

    TRADE ALL TEH PICKZ 4 GRABAPOLO!
    No?
    DRAFT TROOBISKEE #ONE!

    I love silly season.

  • jpftribe
  • jpftribe

    Yes. Those few weeks before March Madness when fired, old, white, ex-NFL execs with bad toupees predict the future. It’s magical.

  • RGB

    Miami punter Justin Vogel just ran a 4.70.
    I love it!

  • scripty

    LOL so Belichick has traded Jones, Collins, Mankins, Seymour, Vrabel and Branch but he won’t trade Jimmy Garapolo and lose him for nothing?

    Sorry, NE does not “hold all the cards”. Sure, maybe NE wants to pay him $22 million next year, have over $31 million tied up in 2018 on their QB position. I guess this could happen.

    NE is trying hard to get some value, and are astonished none of the top 12 teams are biting. They don’t want to trade him in division to BUF. And they are getting pissy neither CLE or SF wants to cough up what they want.

  • mgbode

    I agree with you on leverage though I don’t think NE is getting upset. They are just playing every angle they possibly can. Until Tyrod Taylor and possibly even Jay Cutler situations play out there is little reason for other teams to give into NE demands for an unproven QB. Patriots hope is that someone gets desperate.

  • scripty

    The best is they accept the cap hit and somebody is willing to deal next year, which is a bit of a risk. Garrapolo can tell them to pound salt and not sign a franchise tender in order to give himself more leverage and NE less. NE would be playing with fire and hoping for a ton of help from a player that they are telling they are trading.

    They could end up playing him and he hurts his shoulder a 2nd time, and then enjoy getting a conditional late 3rd at best if the injury isn’t major. They could get nothing. Maybe they will keep him and just thank him for time served and wish him well next offseason.

  • scripty

    Disapointed then. I don’t think NE has taken a misstep as they trying to create value. The issue is they dont have 2 teams competing for Jimmy G.

    They had to burn their “play Schefter for a stooge” card before the Cousins franchise tag came down in hopes of luring SF in.

  • RGB

    So far Sashi has resisted the Belichick Jedi mind tricks. I’ll give him that.
    Now, about that talent evaluation…

  • tsm

    My choice in all of this would be Sam Darnold of USC next year. He projects as an actual top pick and is much better (according to the experts) than any of the guys coming out this year. He is much younger, thus cheaper and bigger than Jimmy G. He looks like Big Ben with more athleticism to me. Now, how are we going to tank again for the top pick? I would certainly trade one of our two 1’s this year for a 1 from a team we think will be a bottom 5 team this coming season. Since we won’t win more than 4 games this year, we likely will have 2 picks in the top 10 next year. Thus, opening the door for Sam. Of course, I hold out no realistic hope that this will actually happen, just stating a preference for Sam over any other QB.

  • jpftribe

    But how big are his hands?

  • chrisdottcomm

    The floating stage at last years GRABAPABLO concert was amazing.

  • Eric G

    I didn’t feel like the Patreon thing was there to get something back. I always had the feeling like it was just a spot to support this site, which is just fine with me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty stoked w/ the free copy of Pluto’s book that I won, but still. I’m happy with it just being a spot to donate for the betterment of WFNY

  • Saggy

    The best thing the Patriots could do is sign Tyrod Taylor.

  • Saggy

    from what I saw of him I REALLY like him. I’m on board with that. And the Browns will have the ammo yet again to trade up if need be.

  • Saggy

    for the record: I don’t care about Patreon. I care about you guys and Patreon is the only way I know I can contribute to you. But I recently saw an email in my inbox and just passed it over.

  • mgbode

    Yeah, NE’s problem is that there are too many “maybe free” QBs. Once the market thins, they’ll find somebody willing to bite (though I suspect a 2nd rounder)

  • Hopwin

    +1

    I delete the patreon emails unopened

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