Although there is always a gamesmanship element to these things, and you have to take any report with a grain of salt until something is actually done, March is here. We are getting very close to the start of the new league year on March 9, which means trade activity could actually begin soon.
And thus, a report like this today from Adam Schefter carries just a bit more weight than it would have, say, a month ago:
In a move that will have a ripple effect on all QB-needy teams, Patriots are not expected to trade QB Jimmy Garoppolo, per league sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 1, 2017
To be sure, even if you could take that rumor at its face, the report does not say the Patriots will definitely not trade Garoppolo. We’ve heard before that the Patriots are not expected to deal their back-up quarterback, who has one year left on his deal. We’ve also heard, however, that several teams are readying “blockbuster” offers to land Garoppolo, and it’s not as if the Patriots are unequivocally going to turn down any offer for him.
So, then, what do you make of a report like this, eight days from the open of the new league year?
My best guess is that it’s a signal that the Patriots are not intending on actively shopping Garoppolo, which could complicate the process of actually making a trade, since any team wanting to land Garoppolo is also going to want to know from him that he’s open to an extension. If the Patriots aren’t out there having active conversations and he and his agent are not involved in those kinds of discussions, it becomes harder to see a team stepping up with a monster offer.
We’ll keep tracking Garoppolo rumors closely, as he has reportedly been the Bears’ top target this offseason. Further, this report notwithstanding, it remains the case that the Patriots have a very valuable asset right now for just one more year, and, even though he’s a wonderful security blanket for Tom Brady, it has to be so tempting to convert him into more long-term value to keep extending this Brady window. I’d be shocked if this is the last we hear about Garoppolo, and the Patriots just shut the door and hold onto him without any other talks.