Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network says the Patriots might be looking for two first round picks in exchange for Garoppolo.
Will the Patriots actually trade their backup quarterback?
According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Cleveland Browns may look to use their No. 12 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft in a trade package to land Garoppolo in a deal with the Patriots. Pure conjecture, but that's an offer the Patriots might have to consider. He was a second-round pick of New England back in 2014. In those two games, he completed 42 of 60 passes (70 percent) for 498 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions.
In addition to Cleveland, both the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers have have been linked to Garoppolo.
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If the Patriots can't get close to their asking price pre-draft (now reported as two first-rounders), they can keep Garoppolo and his $820,000 base salary and hope for a playoff-caliber team to lose their starter early in the 2017 preseason or regular season and capitalize as occurred in the Bradford trade last August.
This year's draft class also may impact the thinking of NFL GMs and coaches in regard to Garoppolo. Suddenly there's talk of a first-round pick this year and one next year.
Plus, there's this: If it all falls apart and Garappolo sticks around, he could take over should Brady suddenly decide to retire or, as Garafolo pointed out, the Patriots can franchise the backup and trade him next year. Conversely, if Garoppolo doesn't want to go to Cleveland (or any other team), he can announce that he will not agree to a long-term contract extension with any team that trades for him without his consent. I think it seems more and more likely that if a deal does get done, it will be with the Browns.