Peter King: Patriots will not trade Jimmy Garoppolo

The Cleveland Browns need a quarterback and many are linking them to Jimmy Garoppolo. But what if the Patriots have no intention of trading him?

The Cleveland Browns are in need of a quarterback and many fans and media members believe the solution lies in New England.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is expected by many to be traded in the coming weeks as he is entering the final year of his rookie contract. New England has Tom Brady and Jacoby Brissett, so they “must” trade Garoppolo before losing him in free agency following the 2017 season.

If you are not sure about Garoppolo, then NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling’s latest press release – sorry, news article – will tell you everything you need to know.

Related: Browns are not trading a first-round pick for Jimmy Garoppolo

According to Wesserling, quarterback-starved teams should be falling all over themselves to “pay a premium price for an early-round talent incubated under the watchful eye of Belichick, Brady and quarterback guru Josh McDaniels.”

Wesserling also praises a player who “In his first career start, Garoppolo went on the road in a nationally televised season opener and mowed down a consensus Super Bowl contender without the benefit of the NFL’s premier tight end.”

Pro Football Focus had a different take on Garoppolo’s performance against the Cardinals:

He struggled in his starting debut, as he was the 25th-graded QB in Week 1 versus Arizona this past season, earning a game grade of 67.1. In that outing, he fumbled once, connected on just four of eight passes over 10 yards (one being a wide open WR Chris Hogan on a busted coverage for a touchdown), and posted a passer rating of just 78.3 under pressure.

But those may just be some of the “alternative facts” that are all the rage these days.

While everyone has been focused on the fact that Garoppolo will be the “best available” quarterback on the market, what if it turns out that the Patriots have no intention of trading him?

That may be hard for some to accept, but it is what Peter King thinks will happen as he explains in his latest Monday Morning Quarterback column:

I think Jimmy Garoppolo will not be traded by New England this off-season. I think it’s pretty obvious why everyone thinks he will be: Tom Brady just finished a season with 35 touchdowns and five interceptions. He’ll next take a snap when he’s 40, but when he looks this good at 39, no one expects him to fall off a cliff. Got it. So go get a first-round pick for Garoppolo and develop Jacoby Brissett.

But there are two problems with this logic, as I see it. And understand, I have not spoken with Belichick about this; it is a simple reading of the tea leaves knowing the way Belichick could be looking at it.

One: In the 17 seasons since the Patriots drafted Brady, Garoppolo has to be the first man Belichick looks at and thinks can be the Patriots’ quarterback for the next decade. He’s smart, makes good decisions, has shown (admittedly in a very brief window last September) that he can beat quality opponents.

Two: The Patriots do the most with lesser prospects of any team in recent league history. If you’ve got a starting quarterback about to turn 40, regardless of his incredible good health and fitness, whatever Brady gives the Patriots now is a bonus. If I’m Belichick, I’m thinking: I’d rather have a quarterback on my roster who I know can win January games in 2017 than go without him and have a first-round pick instead. I can’t tell you how he’s thinking; I can only tell you that based on Belichickian logic, I think that’s most likely how he is thinking heading into the off-season.

If King is correct and the Patriots have no intention of trading Garoppolo, that throws a lot of plans out the window, and will leave a lot of media members disappointed. Of course, it could also lead to a team making a ridiculous trade offer to the Patriots, believing that is what it will take to get a player that New England doesn’t want to trade.

It’s all speculation right now, of course, and the only certainty is that this is not the last anyone will hear of potential trade scenarios revolving around the Browns and Garoppolo.

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