Jimmy Garoppolo Reportedly May Remain with Patriots Despite Trade Rumors

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 16, 2017

Despite the risk of losing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in free agency next offseason for nothing, a new report suggests the New England Patriots may refrain from trading him this offseason.

According to ESPN's Ed Werder, the sense from sources close to the Pats at Super Bowl LI was that New England will keep Garoppolo rather than deal him.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported in January that the Patriots were willing to listen to offers for their backup signal-caller.

The 25-year-old Garoppolo started the first two games of 2016 for the Pats due to Tom Brady's four-game suspension stemming from the Deflategate scandal.

Although Garoppolo got injured in the second game, he went 2-0 with 496 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in those contests.

The 2014 second-round pick out of Eastern Illinois has gotten heavy praise as of late, with Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman comparing him to Green Bay Packers greats Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers on NFL Network (h/t ESPN.com's Mike Reiss): "The guy is a stud. He went out and played in the regular season and played very well. He has that kind of gunslinger-like confidence, that [Favre], [Rodgers] kind of confidence."

Several NFL teams are in search of a franchise quarterback, with the Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets standing out as Garoppolo's top suitors, per Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com.

There is no clear path to the starting job for Garoppolo in New England, though, with Tom Brady continuing to play MVP-caliber football.

A team will undoubtedly be willing to give Garoppolo a big contract in free agency next offseason if the Patriots don't trade him, which means it is unlikely that New England has the means to keep him beyond 2017.

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