New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is the most desirable name for teams in need of a franchise quarterback, but a new report from ESPN's Adam Schefter on Wednesday said the Pats are "not expected to" trade him this summer.
Garoppolo, who started the first two games of the past season during Tom Brady's suspension, will be a free agent after next season. Because Brady has shown no signs of slowing down (or retiring), and because Garoppolo is just 25 and has played well during his few starts, the thinking has long been that New England would trade him this summer.
But Schefter's report complicates that.
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.
One report, even from someone as well-connected as Schefter, by no means guarantees that Garoppolo will still be on the Patriots' roster next season. This report certainly won't deter teams; if anything, a report like this will only drive up the price. In fact, some will believe that this information was leaked to Schefter with this goal in mind.
Previous reports have said the Patriots want a 1st and 4th round pick for Garoppolo. Garoppolo is young, has learned under Brady and Belichick, and would be wasted riding the bench as Brady plays into his 60s. Someone is going to make the Patriots a ridiculous offer for him.
Jimmy Garoppolo through his career
Jimmy Garoppolo through his career
FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 22: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the New England Patriots smiles after defeating the Carolina Panthers in a preseason game at Gillette Stadium on August 22, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 22: Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo talks to the media in the Patriots locker room before practice on January 22, 2015. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 28: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the New England Patriots passes the ball during the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on December 28, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 12: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the New England Patriots warms up before the first half against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 12, 2014 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
BOSTON - FEBRUARY 4: Patriots quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo, left, and Tom Brady, right, enjoy the Patriots Super Bowl victory parade with Brady's son, Benjamin, from atop a duck boat. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 21: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the New England Patriots smiles during pre-game before playing the Oakland Raiders at Gillette Stadium on September 21, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JULY 30: The Patriots camp training camp was held at the practice field next to Gillette Stadium. Jimmy Garoppolo throws a pass. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FAIRHOPE, AL - JANUARY 20: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the South team participates in drills during a Senior Bowl practice session at Fairhope Stadium on January 20, 2014 in Fairhope, Alabama. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 21: Former Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo speaks to the media during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 21, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 16: Jimmy Garoppolo of the Eastern Illinois Panthers speaks during the Sports Network's 27th Annual FCS Awards Presentation at the Sheraton Society Hill on December 16, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Aug 22, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) against the New Orleans Saints during the first quarter of a preseason game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
FOXBOROUGH, MA - SEPTEMBER 14: New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo talks with the media about his first win as a starting quarterback at practice at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on Sept. 14, 2016. (Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 18: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the New England Patriots communicates at the line of scrimmage during the first half against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on September 18, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 30: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 and Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots warms up before the game against the Buffalo Bills on October 30, 2016 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. New England defeats Buffalo 41-25. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 01: New England Patriots Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) warms up on the field before the start of the NFL football game between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins on January 1, 2017, at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL. (Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 01: New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) answers questions from the media during the New England Patriots Press Conference on February 02, 2017, at the JW Marriott Galleria, in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: (L-R) Jimmy Garoppolo #10, Tom Brady #12 and Jacoby Brissett #7 of the New England Patriots run on the field prior to Super Bowl 51 against the Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 07: Quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and Jimmy Garoppolo of the New England Patriots during the Victory Parade through the streets of Boston on February 7, 2017, in Boston, Massachusetts to celebrate winning Super Bowl LI. (Photo by Richard Cashin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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But if, for some reason, the Patriots do decide to keep him for another season as insurance (remember that Brady turns 40 in August), they could still wind up trading him before he hits free agency. For example, the Pats could give him the franchise tag after the end of the season, which would prevent him from hitting the market. From there, they could trade him somewhere else with the tag already in place and he could then negotiate a long-term deal with his new team. This would broadly be the same as a sign-and-trade in the NBA.
For now, though, Garoppolo remains the most intriguing name this offseason. And as Schefter noted, once his future is decided, a lot of other quarterback dominoes around the league will start to fall.