New England Patriots: What Does the Future Hold for Jimmy Garoppolo?

New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo should be back at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo should be back at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports /

With Super Bowl LI in the rearview mirror and the 2016 season concluding, one of the big questions as we head towards the 2017 NFL offseason is the future of Jimmy Garoppolo.

Let’s go back to the first four weeks of the NFL season when New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was suspended due to Deflategate, and Jimmy Garoppolo was looking like an NFL starter. Jimmy-G threw for 502 yards, four TD’s at a completion rate of 68.3% with no picks in the six quarters he played before getting injured.

So if the Patriots were to trade the 25-year-old QB, which team would, he go to?

Let’s talk about the first three picks of the 2017 NFL Draft. These picks have huge value. Not only do they have a ton of salary cap space. But, Garoppolo will only cost about $1.1 million in the 2017 salary cap as he is in the final year of his rookie deal. However, will a team trade for him and then just let him test the free agency market in 2018?

Also, will any of these teams that I mention be desperate to part with a Top 3 pick to get Garoppolo? I don’t think so. Garoppolo’s body of work isn’t massive enough for any NFL franchise to lose its shot at getting a great player and get just Jimmy G back. One idea is that the Patriots use their 32nd pick as a bargaining chip.

I don’t see the Browns giving up their #1 pick, but they do have the #12 pick as well and can use that pick as a negotiating tool. Cleveland is a long way from becoming a competitive team, so the Browns may decide on rebuilding their defense rather than trade for Garoppolo.

Meanwhile, the 49ers have a new sheriff in town in Kyle Shanahan, and there is no way that Colin Kaepernick is going to be a quarterback in Shanahan’s system. Giving up their second pick might seem excessive, especially with the holes that the 49ers have on their roster, but it’s Shanahan’s calling card is to have a high offense, and if the 49ers don’t pick their offense up, then Jed York is going to load up his firing squad.

The Bears make the most sense here if they want to trade their No.3 pick to get Garoppolo. They have good players who got injured last season. If Alshon Jeffery returns to the Bears, that gives Garoppolo an attractive receiver, but there is a chance that the Bears could keep their #3 pick to target Myles Garrett or decide to move on from Garoppolo and draft DeShone Kizer.

Last season showed us that the New York Jets need a complete makeover. They are $7 million OVER the salary cap for 2017 and in need of a new guy under center. Garoppolo’s low cap for 2017 is extremely attractive to a cash-strapped franchise, but will the Patriots make a trade with a divisional rival? I believe it could happen, and it’s a move that has been done in the past, even though it is rare. If the Jets offer is good, then I don’t see the Patriots turning it down.

As we all know, Brock Osweiler is “not the guy” for the Texans. His first season with the Texans was a disaster, as he threw for just 2,957 yards, 15 TD’s, 16 picks, and a completion rate of 59%. His body of work is worse than his stats. He was so inaccurate with his passes that it often wouldn’t be clear who he was aiming at.

He could overthrow the football to DeAndre Hopkins by 15 yards deep or get picked off by a middle linebacker while trying to throw a corner route. Osweiler is just not a quarterback you can build a franchise around, and unfortunately for the Texans, they are hit with a $19 million salary cap hit next season, or $25 million if they decide to move on from him.

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Basically what that means is that the Texans need a cheap alternative for next season if they want to bench Osweiler before they decide to move on from him in 2018. That cheap alternative could be Garoppolo, with the money saved from releasing Osweiler in 2018 the Texans could easily afford to keep Garoppolo on board should they be willing to pay the price.