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MMQB: Browns, Saints could be top suitors to trade for Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo

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Here’s the latest rumor surrounding the Patriots back-up quarterback.

Black Friday sales aren’t just for brick-and-mortar stores, as New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has been trying to sell back-up QB Jimmy Garoppolo in his press conferences.

“If you’re missing one receiver then maybe you [still] get the timing with the other 10 players,” Belichick said last Friday. “If you're missing the quarterback, you could still get it and certainly we have a good quarterback in Jimmy [Garoppolo] and Jimmy could go out there and run everything that Tom [Brady] can run. We’ve seen that. I'm not saying that he's not capable or qualified to do it. He is. And he does a great job of it. And when we put Jimmy in there, it’s really seamless. You can’t, unless you were actually looking at the position, if you could just block out that position and say which guy was in there at quarterback, I don't know if you would know a lot of times.”

This is Belichick actually saying that Garoppolo can do everything that QB Tom Brady can do and it’s probably an active attempt to boost his price on the open market. Garoppolo is expected to be a top target for quarterback-needy teams in the offseason and the Patriots are hoping to land a first round pick and more for their back-up.

Watch out for the Browns and the Saints to be the top suitors, according to MMQB’s Albert Breer.

“Cleveland could deal away the pick they got from Philadelphia, and hang on to what could be the first overall pick,” Breer writes. “And then, Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett and Garoppolo could, in theory, be Cleveland’s version of the Oakland draft that netted Khalil Mack and Derek Carr.

“As for New Orleans, the Saints have been kicking tires on young quarterbacks through the past two draft cycles, were high on Garoppolo in 2014 and saw him in joint practices with New England the past two summers, and will have a 37-year-old Drew Brees going into a contract year in 2017. Theoretically, they may like Garoppolo better than anyone in what’s expected to be a mediocre QB lot this spring, and could bring him aboard on his rookie deal for next year, then tag him in 2018 and do a long-term deal then.”

The Browns will have two first round picks after trading down with the Eagles in the 2016 Draft. The Eagles are currently 5-5 and tied for the 15th-worst draft pick in the NFL- so the Browns could very well have two picks in the first half of the first round.

The Saints are 4-6 and are tied for the 7th-worst record in the NFL. It would be incredible if the Patriots could receive a top 10 pick for Garoppolo and the Patriots would jump on that trade in a heartbeat.

There is more and more discussion about how no quarterback in the draft is worth a first round pick, which would certainly elevate the desire to acquire Garoppolo.

Breer is a former Patriots beat writer and has a good idea of the trade possibilities. Keep an eye on the Browns and Saints for the rest of the season.