The New England Patriots are reportedly not trading Jimmy Garoppolo.
That’s what ESPN’s Adam Schefter was shouting from his soap box on Wednesday. First he tweeted it, then he went on radio and TV to confirm his own report.
“I’m telling you right now, they love Jimmy Garoppolo,” said Schefter on ESPN Wednesday afternoon. “They’re holding onto Jimmy Garoppolo. They view him as somebody that they want around.
“They know the market of quarterbacks,” added Schefter. “And they’re not in the market of getting rid of 25-year-old quarterbacks, even if they have a year left on their contract. Jimmy Garoppolo is not going to be traded.”
Clearly, Schefter is getting this intel from someone in the Patriots organization. He’s bold and confident in his demeanor, speaking with a heavy tone. And he might as well be tweeting in all caps.
That doesn’t mean I have to believe the Patriots won’t still try to trade Garoppolo.
ESPN’s top NFL reporter is a little too loud and proud about this news, which reminds me of my first Journalism class at UMass-Amherst, where we learned that “no news is news.”
I label this as such because I don’t recall the initial report that had the Patriots trying to trade Garoppolo, or even listening to offers for him. So, if you’re the Patriots, what exactly is this leak to Schefter in response to?
The idea of trading Garoppolo is, and always has been, an open-minded conclusion based on the public perception that the Patriots are sticking with Tom Brady for the foreseeable future. And that idea stems from the fact that Brady — even though he turns 40 in August — is the reigning Super Bowl MVP and is still playing at an elite level.
Also, what can’t be ignored in all the Garoppolo trade chatter is Garoppolo’s contract. The 25-year-old backup quarterback enters the final year of his rookie deal in 2017. After that, he can sign wherever he wants next offseason. Unless, of course, the Patriots hit him with the franchise tag.
But, come on. Do you really think the Patriots would pay a backup quarterback $20 million in 2018? That would not make much sense at all, from a business perspective. And this is a business. Not just for the Patriots, but also for Garoppolo.
What, you mean to tell me Garoppolo is going to sign a multi-year deal at below-market value because he loves being in New England? Stop it. The kid wants to play. He wants to start. And if he had it his way, he’d be a team’s starting quarterback right now.
It just makes too much sense to trade Garoppolo this offseason. That’s why we talk about it.
So when Schefter reports this, and then continues to pound his chest on multiple outlets about his own report, it only comes in response to trade chatter that’s been essentially created by fans and media alike.
Are the Patriots that concerned with public opinions that they felt the need to leak their true feelings about their backup quarterback? Or are they purposely proclaiming Garoppolo untouchable because, well, they can, and because they’d like other teams to know that, “If you want him, you better call us with your Godfather offer”?
I’m putting my money on the latter. I’m also now willing to bet that Schefter will be the one to break the news, if the Patriots do end up getting the King’s Ransom they’re seemingly looking for.
Which is entirely possible, and why I still believe the Patriots will try to trade Garoppolo.