Former New England Patriots executive Michael Lombardi is serving as an unofficial spokesperson for the franchise whenever he takes to the airways and it seems like Lombardi is convinced that Patriots back-up QB Jimmy Garoppolo will be traded to the Cleveland Browns this offseason.
Lombardi has a close relationship with head coach Bill Belichick and it wouldn’t be too off the mark to think that both share a lot of similar viewpoints. Lombardi joined Fox Sports 1 to explain why the Browns will “be very aggressive” to acquire Garoppolo, and how Cleveland has the trade assets to get the Patriots to listen.
The Browns currently have the 1st overall pick and own a borderline top 10 pick from the Eagles in a draft without a viable franchise quarterback. Lombardi argues that the Rams and Eagles both traded away multiple top draft picks to acquire quarterbacks with zero NFL experience in the 2016 Draft, so it would be smart for a team to give up less draft capital for a player with proven NFL ability.
Transcript after the video.
“I think, look, the next quarterback that will be the Cleveland Browns quarterback perhaps is Jimmy Garoppolo in New England,” Lombardi said. “I think Cleveland understands, [Browns head coach] Hue Jackson specifically understands he needs a quarterback, I think they’ll be very aggressive, I think Jimmy Garoppolo is on top of their list and they’ll go hard after him.”
“He’s got two career starts,” one of the hosts said.
“Right, two career starts, Jared Goff had zero, Carson Wentz had zero either and they went for multiple draft picks. And I think Cleveland has tremendous assets, in terms of draft picks, so that would be enticing. You’re going to have to use those draft picks on a player and if you can get a starting quarterback that can play in cold weather, who can do a lot of things that Hue Jackson likes to do, I mean, do you want to give up all your assets, or do you want to go after A.J. McCarron, who is his [Jackson’s] back-up in Cincinnati? I think you’re better off going after Garoppolo and getting the better player.”
“But how do you know that Garoppolo is not going to be Matt Flynn or Matt Cassel?,” the host retorted.
“That’s called evaluation, that’s what you get paid to do, to evaluate,” Lombardi replied. “He’s clearly not Matt Flynn, he’s clearly not A.J. McCarron, he’s a better player than that. I’m just promising that. You can write that down on your card. This I will say, the Browns have to get a quarterback, they have to use those assets, they have a tremendous amount of cap room which does them no good because who is going to go there unless you trade for [Garoppolo]? And I think he’s in the last year of his contract.
“That being said, the best time to trade a guy is when you don’t have to trade him. People will call you up. I’m sure the Bears are going to make a phone call. There’s a lot of teams that are going to come after Garoppolo because there’s not a lot of quarterbacks. Mike Glennon from Tampa Bay will be available as a free agent.
“I think the Patriots will decided whether based on the deal they’re offered and Cleveland has the assets to entice them.”