The New England Patriots don’t have to worry about finding a willing trade partner if they want to unload back-up QB Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason because the three worst teams in the NFL all consider Garoppolo their top priority at quarterback. The Patriots want to start negotiations with 1st and 4th round selections, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
1st Overall: Cleveland Browns
The Browns are considered the front-runner because they have a second selection in the first round that they can ship to the Patriots. The Browns also appear to have the least amount of relative interest in Garoppolo because they have their pick of whichever quarterback they want to take in the draft.
2nd Overall: San Francisco 49ers
#49ers starting QB could be in the building today. If Kyle Shanahan doesn't get Kirk Cousins, his targets: Jimmy Garoppolo, then Matt Schaub— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 5, 2017
The 49ers really want Garoppolo and the Patriots might be interested in sending the young quarterback as far away from the Patriots as possible. The Patriots just played the NFC West in 2016, so they won’t reconnect until 2020, unless the two teams meet in the Super Bowl- which neither team would complain about.
3rd Overall: Chicago Bears
Chicago might make the most sense as a landing spot for Garoppolo, who is from Illinois originally and would enjoy a homecoming of sorts. Bears general manager Ryan Pace also graduated from Eastern Illinois, just like Garoppolo. The Patriots have a great trade relationship with Chicago, which can’t be undervalued when looking at the big picture.
The New York Jets and Houston Texans are both interested in Garoppolo as well, but neither are considered to be in the running. The Jets are immediately disqualified on the basis of being the Jets in the AFC East, while the Texans are married to QB Brock Osweiler and might not be able to match the trade capital of the teams at the top of the draft.
If the teams at the top of the draft are interested in Garoppolo, look for a swap of first round picks in addition to Garoppolo changing teams, or a draft package that includes a future first round pick.