A host of rumor bits to guide you toward the weekend …
- The will-they-won’t-they Patriots-Jimmy Garoppolo story takes another twist today, after days of conflicting reports about the team’s willingness (or lack thereof) to deal their current back-up quarterback. The Patriots are reportedly already exploring external back-up quarterback options in free agency, which would make sense only if there is a chance they will be without Garoppolo heading into 2017. Note, this does not mean the Patriots definitely will trade Garoppolo, but I think we can safely put any talk of them definitely not considering trade offers to bed.
- … that said, the Boston Herald report pegs the asking price at a first and second round pick, and maybe more. Depending on where that first round pick is (number three overall, for example, seems too high), the Patriots might be able to get it. (Oh, and, of course, depending on Garoppolo’s willingness to sign an extension with that team.)
- Elsewhere on the quarterback front, today’s big rumor had free agent Mike Glennon as the Bears’ current top target, which left us wondering what was so bad about Brian Hoyer as a cheaper bridge quarterback who already knows the coaches and the system? Well, the door is not closed:
Brian Hoyer is still in play for the #Bears, but I don't sense a lot of optimism right now. Seems like he's more like Plan C or D right now.
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) March 3, 2017
- In a thin QB market, it seems like Hoyer is going to be a highly sought-after back-up, at a minimum, and may find a few players looking at him as a bridge starter. A free agent, Hoyer has expressed an interest in staying with the Bears, but who knows if he’ll wait long enough for the team to get its own Plan A/B ducks in a row first.
- Brad Biggs reports that the Bears, in addition to pursuing Glennon, are “expected to make a strong bid for Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore.” With the Bears’ secondary play last year among the league’s worst, the fit is obvious, and Gilmore is good:
— The Athletic (@TheAthleticChi) March 3, 2017
- The only thing you might point out is that the Bears’ needs are slightly more urgent at safety, and the draft is expected to be very deep in the secondary. Thus, spending big on Gilmore is not the only route for the Bears to upgrade. But, then, Gilmore is going to sign somewhere, and the Bears make as much sense as any team out there.
- Biggs adds that the Bears may also pursue Ravens right tackle Rickey Wagner. Incumbent right tackle Bobby Massie does not have any guaranteed money left on his contract, and graded out poorly in 2016. The Bears’ interior is quite strong, so adding to the outside could only improve one of the few offensive bright spots for the team. Given that the Bears may sport a young quarterback and lean heavily on the running game next year, impeccable line play is going to be a must.
- I’ll make no secret that I find Tyrod Taylor to be a very interesting hypothetical fit for the Bears at quarterback, but until he’s actually a free agent, I don’t want to get too invested in the possibility. However … he really might become a free agent, as the Bills are reportedly leaning toward declining his option next week, which would otherwise lock in nearly $30 million in guarantees.
- If Taylor reaches free agency – which would shake up the market quite a bit – the teams with interest, according to the Buffalo News, are the Browns, 49ers, and Jets. In other words, three of the arguably four most QB-needy clubs, with the Bears being the only team not mentioned.
- One other possible QB target out there for teams is Bengals back-up A.J. McCarron, though, with two years of team control left (not just one, like Jimmy Garoppolo), the Bengals are undoubtedly feeling less urgency to cash in on an asset before it has no value. And they’re making sure other teams know that they value McCarron “quite a bit.”
- The Titans, who could be a heavy Alshon Jeffery suitor, are reported working with the Saints on a trade that would land them 23-year-old wideout Brandin Cooks.