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Report: Trading for Jimmy Garoppolo is Bears top off-season priority

Courtesy of Matt Kartozian, USA Today Sports

It’s not a secret that the struggling Chicago Bears will be looking for a new starting quarterback this offseason. Veteran Jay Cutler is as good as gone after falling out of favor in the Windy City. After that, the Bears really don’t have anyone to pick up the slack over the long-term.

So it shouldn’t be considered too much of a surprise that the Bears have been linked to New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Now comes this report from CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora suggesting that the Bears’ top off-season priority is to acquire Garoppolo from the Patriots.

“The Chicago Bears will make a strong, concerted effort to acquire quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from the Patriots, according to sources with knowledge of the situation,” the report read. “The Illinois native is far and away their top offseason priority.”

New England, playing in Super Bowl LI this weekend, is said to be open to trading Garoppolo and is reportedly looking to acquire a first-round pick in return.

If the former second-round pick is indeed Chicago’s top off-season priority, it might be forced to part ways with the third overall pick in this year’s draft to acquire the young quarterback.

While that might seem like a high bounty to pay, it’s important to note that the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers, both picking ahead of Chicago in the draft, are also going to be in the market for a quarterback.

Garoppolo, 25, started two games for the suspended Tom Brady earlier in the season. He completed 68 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and zero interceptions en route to leading the Patriots to a perfect record during that span.

There promises to be a ton of interest in his services should the Patriots make him available next month.