Report: Patriots now willing to trade Jimmy Garoppolo

By Vincent Frank
Aug 26, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the time of the year for smoke and mirrors to play a prominent role around the National Football League. And there’s no other team out there that’s better at playing this game than the defending champion New England Patriots.

So when reports surfaced earlier this week that the Patriots were not going to trade Jimmy Garoppolo, most of us took it with a grain of salt. It was just Bill Belichick being Bill Belichick, right?

Well, as we inch closer to the start of free agency, it now appears that the Patriots are in fact willing to trade their valuable backup quarterback.

“The Patriots will still trade Jimmy Garoppolo if the offer is right,” Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot reported on Thursday.

According to Cabot, a source close to her said that “everything is still on the table.”

Well, isn’t that a nice turnabout from whoever is leaking information from the Patriots to the media?

The simple reality of the situation is that New England would surely listen to the right offer for Garoppolo. With Tom Brady committed to playing another three-plus seasons, there’s no real reason for the Patriots to keep their former second-round pick around to hold a clipboard.

That’s magnified by the fact that the Cleveland Browns might be open to trading the 12th overall pick in this year’s draft for the quarterback. Add in the fact that Garoppolo is slated to become a free agent following the 2017 season, and the writing could be on the wall here.

In addition to Cleveland, the San Francisco 49ers are said to be interested in trading for Garoppolo. San Francisco’s new head coach Kyle Shanahan has praised the quarterback in the past and the team is seemingly looking to talk trade at this week’s combine.

Stay tuned, this situation is far from settled.