Prying Jimmy Garoppolo away from the New England Patriots is reportedly going to be the Bears’ top priority this offseason, as they attempt to stabilize the quarterback position for both the short and long term.
Prior to Jason La Canfora’s report listing the front-runners in the Garoppolo derby on Thursday, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune wrote about the Bears as potential suitors for the Rolling Meadows High School and Eastern Illinois product.
And whether we’re talking about the EIU roots Garoppolo shares with GM Ryan Pace or the Bears’ summer preseason practices with the Patriots (which allowed the Bears to get a different look at their potential next quarterback), the ties here are deep. The need at QB, of course, goes without saying.
So, then, you can bet we’ll be tracking Garoppolo rumors closely this offseason. Here is some of the latest …
- Biggs writes the Patriots would “certainly demand considerably more than the late second-round pick” the team used to draft Garoppolo in the first place, and the Bears would need to be prepared to commit to Garoppolo with a long-term contract extension upon his arrival at Halas Hall. So, there are plenty of bridges to cross between now and the time a potential deal goes down. And even if there weren’t, a Bears-Patriots trade cannot be consummated until March 9. There’s time.
- Which reminds me: This is probably a good time to re-share a list of the 2017 NFL offseason dates, deadlines and when to expect things from January.
- Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times touches on several important topics with regard to a potential Garoppolo trade. Even when exploring it at a surface level, we’re talking about a deal that would put John Fox (9-23 in two years as Bears head coach) in win-now mode for a player with (essentially) two games of NFL experience. It’s a risk reminiscent of the Brock Osweiler experience, meaning that Pace and the rest of the front office must have some strong convictions if the team does pull the trigger on a blockbuster trade.
- But for what it’s worth, Bears fans aren’t the only ones dreaming on the idea of a homecoming scenario. Garoppolo says his friends bug him about being the Bears’ next quarterback “all the time.”
- In other Garoppolo-related news, FOX Sports senior writer Dieter Kurtenbach chimes in saying Garoppolo should demand a trade once the offseason begins. It would mean the modest Garoppolo would be stepping out, but Kurtenbach argues that is the kind of bold move that needs to happen with millions of dollars and a future career at stake for the Patriots’ No. 2 quarterback. It’s hard to imagine a second-stringer pounding the table for a trade, but admittedly it’s fun to think about.
- Let’s reiterate that the Bears won’t be the only team in on the Garoppolo sweepstakes. La Canfora also names the Browns, 49ers, and Jets as teams that could provide the primary competition for Garoppolo’s services. The return for trading Garoppolo within the AFC could be steep, and the price of an intra-division trade with the Jets could be large enough to keep both the Browns and Jets on the outskirts, respectively. From there, that would pit the Bears and 49ers against one another in a race to acquire a player who might be the most talented quarterback on the open market this offseason.
- Former NFC North wide receivers Greg Jennings and Brandon Marshall offer their perspective on which quarterback they want throwing them the ball: Jay Cutler, Tony Romo or Jimmy Garoppolo? No surprise, they were reluctant to say, though Romo gets the nod from Jennings, thanks to his experience (as compared to Garoppolo), and the fact that things haven’t worked out with Cutler:
— Garbage Time (@GarbageTime) February 3, 2017
- Future 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan praised Garoppolo and Kirk Cousins, both of whom could be starting quarterback options San Francisco pursues in the offseason. Shanahan hasn’t officially been announced yet, in part because he currently has his hands full with preparing the Falcons offense to go up against the Patriots defense on Super Bowl Sunday.
- All things considered, the Patriots could simply hold on to Garoppolo for the final year of his rookie contract, then hand him the franchise tag in each of the next two years as a Tom Brady insurance policy. Flash back to November when Belichick raved about the steady dependability Garoppolo brings to the table that is reminiscent of Brady.
“[W]hen we put Jimmy in there, it’s really seamless. Unless you were actually looking at the position. If you could just block out that position and say, which guy is in there at quarterback? I don’t know if you were know a lot of times.
But for the quarterback to have that kind of consistency with the snap count, the cadence, the way that his voice or mannerisms or reminders are in the huddle. The little things like that is — the whole timing and everything on the line of scrimmage and running the plays in practice. That is a huge carryover to the games. Again, Tom’s consistency to do that, again not only for himself but for the rest of the team and the ability for the rest of team to have been able to count on that is very important.”
- So, is Belichick giving an endorsement for his next championship-winning quarterback … or simply inflating the potential price of the organization’s next trade piece? Only time will tell. And between now and March 9, there will be ample time to discuss and dissect – 34 days to be exact.