While the Patriots continue to do their rookie homework at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this week, many in the media can't stop talking about one New England veteran in particular: Jimmy Garoppolo.
The backup QB is the subject of numerous opinion pieces today, after ESPN reported that the Patriots won't trade Garoppolo.
"I am just telling you Jimmy Garoppolo is going to be on the Patriots in 2017," reporter Adam Schefter reiterated to Boston sports radio station WEEI, "no matter who calls them and what anybody offers. He's going to be on their roster this summer."
Not everyone is buying this pitch, however. Here's what CSNNE.com has to say about it in one of that outlet's columns:
"[W]hile [a Garoppolo trade] may not be likely, that doesn't mean it's impossible… [U]nderstanding the amount of desperation around the league to find the right quarterback, I still believe there's a price for Garoppolo."
And this from The Boston Globe:
"Was Wednesday's report a sign that the Patriots are committing to Garoppolo as their backup in 2017, and possibly as their starting quarterback of the future? Or was this simply an unspoken message to teams believed to be interested in Garoppolo – the Browns, Bears, and 49ers – that their trade offers are underwhelming? It's still early in the offseason, and deadlines often spur action. So the real trade talks might not heat up until the trade market opens March 9…"
A *Boston Herald *columnist believes there might be truth to the "Garoppolo's staying" report.
"But what if the Patriots really, truly plan to hold onto Jimmy Garoppolo? What if they believe he is going to be the next great NFL quarterback? And what if the Patriots are right?" he asks in print. "That's the part that could make for a laugh-out-loud future in the NFL.
"Try to imagine Tom Brady playing, say, two more years, maybe winning one more Super Bowl, possibly two more Super Bowls. And then the finely tutored, only slightly aged, very well-rested Jimmy G takes the controls and quarterbacks the Pats to a 14-2 record and, you know, another Super Bowl title. Wouldn't you pay big money to see that, Pats fans?"
Another editorial on WEEI's website proclaims that it never made sense for the Patriots to part with Garoppolo.
"Some of us have advocated for this non-move since the beginning in a nod to reality. Tom Brady may claim he wants to play another six years, but the fact of the matter is only one quarterback in his 40s has won a playoff game since 1950, and that was Brett Favre at age 40 with the 2009 Vikings… A year later, he was out of football.
"If you want to bet on Tom Brady playing until infinity, have at it. The Patriots have never operated that way, and as long as Bill Belichick remains in charge, I don't imagine they ever will. Keeping Garoppolo, even for just one more year, gives them a lot more options than trading him."
In non-Jimmy-G news, the salary caps for each NFL team have been set, and the Herald breaks down what New England has to spend on free agents this year.
Another CSNNE.com story lauds head coach Bill Belichick and his Patriots for working hard to earn their success.
"New England's stands out as being both the most difficult but also the most professionally – if not financially – rewarding destination in the league. Year after year," the author states, "players choose to come to play in a program that will be recalled in 50 years the way Lombardi's Packers are now."
Finally today, Belichick had an eventful night at the Celtics game. ESPN's blog offers a recap.