The quarterback market is going to remain a significant question mark over the next month and a half in large part because contract extensions, franchise tags, and potential trades could shake things up considerably.
One of the more notable names on the market is New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. He has been backing up Tom Brady the past three years, and got his first significant experience this year when Brady was suspended. Garoppolo got hurt and could not play all four games, but he looked good in his limited appearances.
Garoppolo is entering the final year of his contract, and with Brady not showing any signs of slowing down, it is hard to see the Patriots re-signing him. He will find a solid deal on the open market if he is allowed to hit free agency. That raises some interesting questions for the Patriots this offseason.
Adam Schefter has reported the Patriots believe any trade discussions for Garoppolo should start at a first and fourth round pick. The Sam Bradford-Vikings deal is regularly mentioned in that regard. And with a limited free agency market, there is certainly an opportunity to get some decent return.
Ian Rapoport reported over the weekend that the Patriots will explore trading Garoppolo, but there are no guarantees it will happen.
"The Patriots are open to trading Jimmy Garoppolo and they are going to listen to all offers, as they have over the last couple years for Garoppolo -- and they have gotten a couple inquiries," Rapoport said. "But from what I am being told there are several complicating factors: First of all, the price tag, expected to be at least a first-round pick -- just based off the quarterback market. Will anyone give them that? Second of all, are the Patriots really comfortable going forward with Jacoby Brissett as their backup quarterback in case Tom Brady gets hurt? That might be the biggest question of all."
If the Patriots did not trade Garoppolo, they would then have to wait and see what the free agency market brings. Garoppolo will get a deal elsewhere, and depending on the Patriots own free agency maneuvering, they would get a 2018 comp pick in return. That would likely be a third round comp pick since Garoppolo would probably get a decent sized deal.
It remains to be seen exactly what the Patriots will be able to get in a trade, but I have to think it would be more than a third round pick. Add in that some or all of the picks in a trade would be for 2017 and not 2018, and it makes a lot more sense to make a trade. I imagine this report is just a way to try and build out the Garoppolo trade market. I think it ends up sufficiently robust, but I suppose anything to build it further, right?