Jimmy Garoppolo

AFC Notes: Revis, Garoppolo, Lynch

Criminal charges were dropped against free agent cornerback Darrelle Revis earlier this week, which ostensibly opens the door for him to find a new employer soon. Ben Volin of The Boston Globe reports that one league executive believes a Revis reunion with the Patriots is the only thing that makes sense, and while he would likely not serve as a starting corner in New England, he could be used as a strong safety or as cornerback depth. Interestingly, though, Karen Guregian of The Boston Herald tweets that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick told Revis several years ago that Revis’ skill-set did not translate to the safety position. While that does not preclude a New England reunion, it does add an interesting twist to the Revis saga, as many have taken it for granted that Revis will wind up playing safety for whoever signs him in 2017.

Now for more from the AFC:

  • As Volin notes in the same piece cited above, the Patriots’ apparent desire to trade Malcolm Butler is reflective of the team’s usual philosophy of getting rid of a player a year too soon instead of a year too late. However, the Pats have notably departed from that philosophy with respect to Jimmy Garoppolo, whom the club has been reticent to trade despite the haul of picks they could acquire in return. Volin says the Patriots’ stance with Garoppolo is simply based on the fact that he plays quarterback, and they believe that if something were to happen to Tom Brady, they could still compete for a title with Garoppolo under center. The team took a similar approach in 2014, when they held onto Ryan Mallett throughout training camp and did not deal him until they were confident that Garoppolo could handle the backup role.
  • Some Patriots fans are wondering why the club is willing to trade Butler but handed Stephon Gilmore a mega-deal this offseason. As Dan Hatman of The Scouting Academy (via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com) notes, Gilmore is simply bigger than Butler, and his size and length can create more flexibility for defensive coordinator Matt Patricia when matching up against some of the game’s bigger receivers. Simply put, Gilmore is a premium man corner, and those players get paid.
  • Despite the Morris Claiborne signing, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com still expects the Jets to select a cornerback in the first or second round of this year’s draft.
  • Saturday night, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, retired running back Marshawn Lynch retweeted a message in which someone noticed that a musical playlist put together by Lynch contains a track entitled “Oakland Raiders.” The playlist was created in September 2015, but Florio believes the fact that Lynch went ahead and retweeted the message further legitimizes the Lynch-to-Raiders rumors.
  • Meanwhile, new Raiders acquisition Cordarrelle Patterson is actively recruiting free agent running back and former Vikings teammate Adrian Peterson to join him in Oakland, as Ben Goessling of ESPN.com writes. However, the latest reports about a Peterson/Oakland match suggest that Peterson has more interest in the Raiders than the Raiders have in him at the moment.
  • Sean Spence agreed to a deal with the Colts earlier today, and Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com tweets that Spence’s former team, the Titans, could use newly-acquired Jonathan Cyprien, a strong safety by trade, to fill Spence’s role as nickel linebacker.

Latest On Jimmy Garoppolo

Few NFLers have been involved in more trade rumors over the past several months than Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, but “there’s a persistent belief within league circles” that the team wants to retain Tom Brady‘s backup, a high-level employee of an AFC team told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Jimmy Garoppolo

While Garoppolo would likely fetch a haul in a trade, perhaps from the draft-pick rich Browns, the Patriots are cognizant of the fact that Brady isn’t immortal, notes Florio. As excellent as the five-time Super Bowl champion still is, 2017 will be his age-40 season, so there’s some question as to how much longer he’ll play. By keeping the 25-year-old Garoppolo, the Pats would protect themselves against a sudden retirement or decline from Brady.

Garoppolo will only take up $1.1MM-plus of New England’s spending space next season, his fourth in the league, meaning his presence wouldn’t be onerous to the club’s cap in 2017. Then, if Brady’s still in the fold next winter, the Pats could attempt to re-sign Garoppolo – it seems unlikely they’d succeed, granted, given that he’d be able to find a starting job and more money elsewhere – or even place the franchise tag on him.

In the opinion of head coach Bill Belichick, Patriots third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett isn’t the long-term answer, suggests Florio, making it all the more realistic that Garoppolo will stay in their plans. Like Brissett, Garoppolo has limited NFL experience, but the latter made good on his first two career starts last year. Garoppolo began the season as New England’s starter because of Brady’s four-game Deflategate ban, and he completed 42 of 59 passes for 496 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in wins over the Cardinals and Dolphins. The second game was Garoppolo’s final start of the year – and perhaps his last for a while, if the Pats keep him – as he suffered a sprained AC joint on a hit from Miami linebacker Kiko Alonso and sat out for the remainder of Brady’s suspension.

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No Jimmy Garoppolo Trade Imminent

In the middle of the night, a post appeared on Jimmy Garoppolo‘s Instagram which prompted mass speculation online that the Patriots quarterback had been traded. screenshot

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So grateful for my time in New England. Peace out Boston ✌🏻,” the caption read, below a smiling photo of the 25-year-old.

Apparently, there’s nothing to it. Garoppolo has no knowledge of any trade and his agent says the post was the result of a hack, a source close to the quarterback tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links). In fact, at this point, there have been no trade talks between the Browns and Patriots, Rapoport adds (Twitter link). Of course, a Garoppolo pursuit has been rumored for some time now for the Browns and they are still mulling the idea, even after acquiring Brock Osweiler.

Typically, we don’t write about bogus rumors here at Pro Football Rumors, but this Instagram post send the football world into a frenzy and woke up a number of reporters around 5:30am ET, so it needed to be debunked. Browns fans and Patriots fans can take a deep breath, for now: Garoppolo has not been traded (as of this writing) and he remains on the Pats’ depth chart as Tom Brady‘s backup.

Browns Still Eyeing Jimmy Garoppolo

Just because the Browns currently have two polarizing members of the 2012 quarterback class doesn’t mean they’re giving up a pursuit of Jimmy Garoppolo. Cleveland still intends to try and trade for the Patriots’ backup quarterback, league sources tell Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com.Jimmy Garoppolo (Vertical)

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets this remains the Browns’ intention (Twitter link), but Rapoport believes the Patriots want to hang onto Garoppolo. A league source told Cabot a package fronted only by Cleveland’s No. 12 pick this year won’t be enough to land Garoppolo. The Patriots are believed to want the Browns’ No. 1 overall pick, which Cleveland is expected to use to take Myles Garrett.

The Browns, though, have now acquired an extra second-round pick thanks to their unorthodox Brock Osweiler acquisition. Cleveland now has two first-rounders and two second-rounders this year and three second-round selections in 2018. A combination of those would be enough ammunition to get the Patriots to consider trading Garoppolo, in all likelihood.

As for Osweiler, the Browns are shopping him across the league after acquiring the sixth-year quarterback and a second-round pick.

The new-era front office is trying to trade Osweiler and a late-round pick for a 2018 third-round selection, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweets. In making these trade inquiries, the Browns are informing teams they are prepared to eat at least half of Osweiler’s $16MM price tag in order to facilitate this trade, per La Canfora (on Twitter). The reporter adds the Browns are “fixated” on a third-round pick, leading many to believe they’re ready to deal a collection of picks to the Patriots for Garoppolo (Twitter link).

The Patriots initially pulled Garoppolo off the trade market but may want either two first-rounders or a first and a second for their longtime backup. Cabot reiterates the Patriots are likely to want a first this year and the Browns’ 2018 first-round selection. New England’s asking price may stem from wanting to make sure it has a backup plan in case a soon-to-be 40-year-old Tom Brady begins to slip despite not showing much evidence of that during his age-39 season.

While expected to take a quarterback in the draft, Cleveland is believed to be ready to release Robert Griffin III.

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Browns Rumors: Garoppolo, Pryor, Zeitler

It sounds like talk of Jimmy Garoppolo being pulled off the trade block was not entirely accurate. Still, if he is still available, it could take an awful lot to pry him loose. It might take as much as a No. 1 pick this year plus a No. 1 pick in next year’s draft, a source tells Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. That’s a price the Browns are very unlikely to meet, Cabot adds. Jimmy Garoppolo (vertical)

The Browns would very much like to have Garoppolo and their dream scenario right now would be to land him via trade while drafting pass rusher Myles Garrett No. 1 overall. Failing that, they have their eyes on getting Garrett at the top of the draft and landing either Mitch Trubisky or Deshaun Watson at No. 12. That scenario will become a little more realistic if teams like the 49ers, Jets, and Bears address their QB situations before the draft. The Browns could also conceivably use their draft stockpile to trade up from No. 12 and get their desired signal caller.

In other Browns news, one source estimates that Terrelle Pryor is seeking somewhere between $13MM and $15MM per year. If that’s the asking price, Cabot believes the Browns will let him walk. Reportedly, he has been contacted by the Giants, 49ers, Titans, and Eagles. The Steelers, depending on who you ask, may also have interest.

A Pryor return may or may not be in the cards, but the Browns will likely pursue Bengals free agent guard Kevin Zeitler, a league source tells Cabot. Zeitler played for coach Hue Jackson in Cincinnati and that connection could help lead to a deal.

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Latest On QB Market

There are a lot of moving pieces in this year’s quarterback market, and the Patriots’ Jimmy Garoppolo, despite recent reports suggesting he would not be traded, remains the forefront of the discussion. Per Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, New England is willing to deal Garoppolo, but the team has not yet received an offer approaching its asking price for Tom Brady‘s top backup. Howe writes that the current asking price is believed to be a first- and second-round draft pick, but the Patriots will not simply flip Garoppolo to the highest bidder. If the team is not “properly compensated,” they will not make a deal.

Tyrod Taylor (vertical)

Meanwhile, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that the Bills are not expected to retain Tyrod Taylor under his current contract (we heard several days ago that Buffalo was leaning against keeping Taylor, though there is a split among the club’s top decision-makers in that regard). Assuming Taylor does hit the open market, La Canfora expects the Browns to emerge as the front-runner for his services. Indeed, Taylor has strong ties to some members of the Browns staff already, and if Cleveland is able to acquire him, the club could use its two first-round selections on the best player available and would not have to reach for a quarterback or deal one (or both) picks for Garoppolo.

La Canfora also reports that the Bears have the strongest interest in Mike Glennon at the moment, and sources around the league believe Chicago will push hard to acquire him. The Bears also love Garoppolo, but they do not want to meet the Patriots’ asking price (all of that is consistent with reports that our Sam Robinson passed along last night). La Canfora projects Glennon, who turned down an $8MM/year offer from Tampa Bay, to receive an incentive-laden contract with an AAV of around $12MM.

Interestingly, Glennon has no official agent at this point, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes. That’s significant because when the “legal tampering” period opens on Tuesday, teams can negotiate with agents representing free agents, but not with the free agents directly. Jason Cole of Bleacher Report tweets that teams with interest in Glennon are working under the assumption that David Dunn is his agent.

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Bears To Meet With Brian Hoyer’s Reps

With Jay Cutler on the outs and no clear starting quarterback in place for 2017, the Bears are likely to meet with representatives for impending free agent Brian Hoyer this weekend, according to John Mullin of CSN Chicago. However, the club’s interest in Hoyer is only “lukewarm,” as it views him as a Plan C option. Instead of bringing back Hoyer, the Bears would prefer to emerge from the offseason having traded for Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo or signed Buccaneers backup Mike Glennon, writes Mullin.

Brian Hoyer (vertical)[RELATED: Bears Could Pursue Top FAs]

Chicago’s desire to land Garoppolo or Glennon isn’t exactly a surprise. However, for his part, the 31-year-old Hoyer logged far more playing time than either last season and was fairly effective. All told, Hoyer completed 67 percent of his 200 passes, averaged 7.2 yards per attempt and threw six touchdowns against no interceptions in six games. Five of those appearances were starts for Hoyer, who took over for an injured Cutler and looked primed to grab the job for good before suffering a season-ending broken left arm in a Week 6 loss to the Packers.

While the Bears wouldn’t prioritize drafting a quarterback if they were to add either Garoppolo or Glennon, that wouldn’t be the case with Hoyer, notes Mullin. Hoyer would likely serve as a bridge starter for the Bears, who are set to pick third and 36th overall in the first two rounds of the draft and could conceivably choose a QB with either selection.

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Patriots Exploring Backup QB Options

Maybe Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t off the market after all. The Patriots are exploring backup quarterback possibilities in free agency, a source tells Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. Connecting the dots, it seems that New England is doing its homework in the event it trades the highly-coveted young QB. Jimmy Garoppolo (vertical)

If the Patriots move Garoppolo, it seems that they would sign a veteran quarterback to slot behind Tom Brady. Depending on who it is, that out-of-house addition could be put into a competition with Jacoby Brissett to determine who gets No. 2 QB status. This year’s free agent market is flush with experienced backup types, including Nick Foles, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Colin KaepernickBrian Hoyer, Case Keenum, Matt McGloin, Mark Sanchez, and more.

The 49ers and Browns have been heavily connected to Garoppolo. While they will continue to explore all of their options at quarterback, it sounds like they shouldn’t give up on prying the 25-year-old away from the defending champs.

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Latest On Jimmy Garoppolo, A.J. McCarron

While the Patriots are reportedly unlikely to trade quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, they haven’t ruled out moving him if the right offer comes along, a league source told Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. New England is likely to want at least a first-rounder for Garoppolo, writes Cabot, who hears that the team has already received one preliminary “offer.” However, a deal is unlikely to come together during the combine.

Jimmy Garoppolo (Vertical)

The Browns, 49ers and Bears, who are set to pick first, second and third in this year’s draft, have drawn the most connections to Garoppolo this winter. Cleveland has seemingly shown more interest than anyone else in Garoppolo, and it could help the club’s cause that it has a second first-rounder (No. 12 overall) that it could dangle to land the 25-year-old.

Should they fail to reel in Garoppolo, the Browns could look for a signal-caller via free agency, elsewhere on the trade market, or in the draft. Cabot reported earlier Thursday that they’re eyeing North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky at No. 1 overall, and she now adds that the Browns could inquire about Bengals backup A.J. McCarron.

Although the Bengals aren’t necessarily aiming to trade McCarron, they might do it if they receive at least a second-rounder, and they wouldn’t be averse to sending him to a division rival, a source told Cabot. Moreover, McCarron “would love” to reunite with Browns head coach Hue Jackson, Cabot notes. McCarron played under Jackson when he was the Bengals’ offensive coordinator from 2014-15.

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Latest On Browns’ QB Possibilities

Colin Kaepernick has informed all 32 NFL teams he’s going to opt out of his contract with the 49ers and become a free agent. When that happens, one team that definitely won’t pursue Kaepernick is the quarterback-needy Browns, a league source told Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com.

Colin Kaepernick

Browns head coach Hue Jackson has demonstrated an affinity for Kaepernick in the past, so it’s conceivable the 29-year-old could have been on their radar. Jackson had interest last offseason in Kaepernick, who was then coming off an injury-plagued, statistically subpar campaign. But Kaepernick bounced back to a degree in 2016, as he tossed 16 touchdown passes against four interceptions, averaged 7.2 yards per attempt (up from 6.2 in 2015) and finished second among QBs in rushing yards (468, on a lofty 6.8 per carry) as part of a two-win team.

The only signal-caller who outrushed Kaepernick last year, the Bills’ Tyrod Taylor, will be on the Browns’ list if Buffalo releases him, reiterates Cabot. So could Buccaneers backup and soon-to-be free agent Mike Glennon, and the Browns also aren’t going to give up on acquiring either Patriots No. 2 Jimmy Garoppolo or Bengals reserve A.J. McCarron via trade, according to Cabot. The Patriots are reportedly unlikely to deal Garoppolo, though, while the Bengals will place a high price tag on McCarron – a former Jackson pupil – if anyone inquires about his availability.

Should the Browns fail to reel in a palatable long-term option via trades or free agency, the draft – in which they’re set to pick first and 12th overall – could be the avenue they take. Cabot notes they’ll “strongly consider” selecting a potential franchise passer then.

For now, their most established option under center is Robert Griffin III, who’s due a $750K roster bonus March 11. It’s possible Griffin will stay on the roster beyond that date, though, head of football operations Sashi Brown said Wednesday (via Cabot).

“That’s not going to be a major decision for us one way or the other in terms of a lever for making that decision,” he revealed. “We’re going to evaluate Robert, not his contract. And we’ve had some discussions there.”

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