Patriots Could Still Trade Jimmy Garoppolo For 'Right' Deal

North Dakota State's Carson Wentz walks on stage and poses with his jersey after being drafted the number two pick by the Philladelphia Eagles in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft held at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago IL

It's mighty tempting for a team to cash in by trading a solid backup quarterback at a time when there's a shortage of NFL-caliber talent, but the New England Patriots apparently will not succumb to that urge.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Wednesday that the Patriots had no plans of trading their backup quarterback, who will be an unrestricted free agent in 2018. "They're holding onto Jimmy Garoppolo". We're in the height of misinformation season, so conflicting reports on a topic as big as a potential Garoppolo trade isn't too surprising. The Browns, San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears are widely considered the main suitors for him, with the New York Jets and Houston Texans viewed as other possibilities.

"I'm telling you right now: [The Patriots] love Jimmy Garoppolo". He seems to be right.

Bill Belichick's close friend and associate Mike Lombardi, the former Browns general manager, also tweeted, "this is not about increasing his value, this is the player being good, really good".

Then again, perhaps no such offer exists in the mind of Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

"Everything is still on the table, " the source said. One preliminary "offer" has already been floated and another is expected to come soon from a second team.

I have a feeling that if Garoppolo does get traded, it may not happen until after the draft.

Just maybe, though, it is a leverage tactic to get even more picks out of one of the many rudderless teams that feel doomed without a top-level quarterback. Just ask Jamie Collins and Chandler Jones, two defensive standouts who were traded previous year, before their replacements helped New England win the Super Bowl. Some teams may want to see how they fair in the draft and even free agency before pulling the trigger on a trade.

Garoppolo has only thrown 94 regular-season passes in his three National Football League seasons, but was a highly regarded prospect coming out of Eastern Illinois.

While quarterbacks like Jay Cutler and Colin Kaepernick aren't great, teams can win with them.

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