Jimmy Garoppolo

Browns Unlikely To Trade For Veteran QB

The Browns don’t envision trading for a veteran quarterback, general manager Sashi Brown told reporters, including Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com (Twitter link), today. Depending of Brown’s definition of the word “veteran,” that could rule out pursuits of the Patriots’ Jimmy Garoppolo and the Bengals’ A.J. McCarron.Jimmy Garoppolo (Vertical)

[RELATED: Browns Likely To Keep No. 1 Overall Pick]

New England reportedly isn’t willing to deal Garoppolo, but that hasn’t stopped the Browns from inquiring. The Patriots’ price for Garoppolo has varied, but Cleveland’s No. 12 pick isn’t going to get a deal done. The Browns aren’t willing to trade the No. 1 overall pick in exchange for a quarterback, so they may simply not match up with the Patriots on a swap.

The Bengals, meanwhile, aren’t actively shopping McCarron, but are willing to trade him (and would even be comfortable shipping him within the AFC North). Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com recently hinted Cincinnati would be open to sending McCarron and the ninth overall pick to Cleveland for pick Nos. 12 and 33. Using Chase Stuart of Football Perspective‘s draft value chart, that deal would imply McCarron is worth the 44th overall selection on his own.

At present, the Browns’ depth chart at quarterback includes Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan, and Brock Osweiler. Although Osweiler had been expected to be traded or released, Brown said today the ex-Texan will have a chance to compete for the starting QB role, tweets Marc Sessler of NFL.com. Of course, that sentiment could simply be lip service until Cleveland decides how to proceed with Osweiler.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Pats, Browns, Saints, Mixon

There have been conflicting reports over the past couple months on whether the Patriots will consider trading backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason. The latest update, via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, indicates the Pats “do not want to deal” Garoppolo, even though he could hit free agency next year. No team has shown more interest in Garoppolo this offseason than the Browns, but they’ve seemingly given up hope on acquiring him, per Rapoport, who adds that the Pats regard the 25-year-old as a franchise-caliber passer. New England already has an all-world option under center in Tom Brady, of course, but the five-time Super Bowl champion is set to play his age-40 season in 2017.

One of Garoppolo’s New England teammates, cornerback Malcolm Butler, has also been a prominent part of trade rumors this offseason. While the Patriots’ intention is to keep Butler, according to owner Robert Kraft, Larry Holder of NOLA.com anticipates that they’ll ultimately deal him to the Saints (video via NFL.com). New Orleans has chased Butler, a restricted free agent, and has reportedly had productive long-term contract discussions with him. The Saints aren’t willing to give up the No. 11 overall pick for Butler, but they could dangle the 32nd selection, which they acquired from the Pats in the Brandin Cooks trade.

More from around the sport:

  • Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon will rack up 15 visits with teams prior to the beginning of the draft on April 27, his agent, Peter Schaffer, told Michael Gehlken of Pro Football Talk. “(This many visits) is clearly not efficient and (consumes) a lot of time,” said Schaffer. “But at the same time, it’s important to have it. It’s a blessing for any player to get considered for the draft. Along with that blessing comes hard work.” Many of the clubs Mixon has met with are willing to forgive him for his checkered past, which jibes with a report that he could go as high as the second round. “Everyone who has brought him in has remarked how remorseful he is about what he did when he was 18 … and that he’s deserving of a second chance,” Schaffer revealed.
  • Former NFLers Greg Hardy, Ahmad Bradshaw, Kellen Winslow, McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Ben Tate and Ricky Stanzi have reported to West Virginia to partake in the Spring League, relays Mike Florio of PFT. The league, which isn’t affiliated with the NFL, will play a six-game season from April 15-26. Its participants won’t receive pay – only lodging and meals during the season – writes Florio. Some pro scouts will be on hand, though, giving the players an opportunity to stand out and earn either a first NFL shot or, in the cases of the aforementioned six, a repeat chance(s).
  • The expectation is that the Ravens will eventually release cornerback Kyle Arrington, reports Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. The Ravens would first like Arrington to pass a physical, notes Zrebiec. Arrington suffered a concussion during the preseason last summer and landed on injured reserve at the end of August. Cutting the 30-year-old would save Baltimore $2.1MM, against just under $667K in dead money.

AFC Notes: Texans, Browns, Jimmy G., Fins

The Texans plan to discuss a contract extension with head coach Bill O’Brien after next season, according to owner Bob McNair (via John McClain of the Houston Chronicle). The 2017 campaign will be the penultimate year of O’Brien’s contract, and he has thus far led the typically quarterback-weak Texans to three nine-win showings and two playoff berths.

Houston continues to be in dire need of help under center, of course, which McNair realizes. “It’s important that we upgrade the play at quarterback,” he told McClain. McNair did express confidence in incumbent starter Tom Savage, though he’s leery of the 26-year-old’s durability issues. “He’s played twice (in regular season) and gotten hurt twice,” McNair noted. “That’s our only concern with Tom. He’s smart enough. He knows the system. He’s got a good arm. I think he can get the job done, but if we depend on him, and he gets hurt in the first or second game . . .”

Savage is only atop the Texans’ depth chart now because of the horrid play of Brock Osweiler, whom they traded to the Browns earlier this month. The move was “a shocker” for McNair, who “couldn’t believe” general manager Rick Smith was able to dump Osweiler’s contract on the Browns (albeit at the cost of a second-round pick). Osweiler is just a year into the four-year pact the Texans handed him as a free agent last offseason. Featuring high cap hits and $37MM in guarantees, the deal quickly became an albatross, and McNair has a theory on why things went so poorly for Osweiler in Houston (via McClain). “(O’Brien) didn’t have a chance to get to know him. That’s one of the problems with free agency,” lamented McNair. “In the draft, we’re able to bring them to Houston, sit down with them, watch them interviewed by a bunch of coaches, and you have time to check them out. You can’t talk to them before they become a free agent. You can’t work them out. We didn’t know him that well.”

Texans brass, including McNair, all seemed to love Osweiler last March, but he then bombed on the field and didn’t mesh with O’Brien in his lone Houston season.

More from the AFC:

  • “An NFL source familiar with all the principals involved” speculates the Browns will “make another run” at Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo at the league meetings, ESPN.com’s Tony Grossi writes. Business tends to go down at the league meetings with everyone in the same place and we could see trade talks get a jumpstart this week in Phoenix. If a trade does happen, however, the same source says it might not occur until closer to the draft on April 27.
  • Free agent linebacker Zach Brown is reportedly choosing between the Dolphins and Raiders, but Miami’s Mike Tannenbaum-led front office doesn’t seem to be going all-out to sign him, observes Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. “The lion’s share of our focus right now is on the draft,” said Tannenbaum, the team’s executive vice president of football operations. “If an opportunity came along, we’d evaluate it appropriately. But our focus is really on the draft and something comes along, we’ll certainly look at it.”
  • Defensive tackle Mike Pennel‘s one-year contract with the Jets is worth $990K, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. There’s no guaranteed money in the deal, but it does come with up to $250K in roster bonuses and a $50K workout bonus.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Patriots Rumors: Brady, Butler, Garoppolo

Moments ago, Patriots owner Robert Kraft addressed the media in Phoenix, Arizona. Here’s a look at the highlights:

  • Apparently, Tom Brady isn’t going anywhere. “As recently as two or three days ago, he assured me that he’d be willing to play another six or seven years,” Kraft said (Twitter link via Albert Breer of The MMQB).
  • Kraft says that he hopes Malcolm Butler returns to the Patriots for 2017 and that the team’s intention is not to trade him (Twitter link via Nick Underhill of The Advocate). Butler, a restricted free agent, has discussed contractual terms with the Saints and the two sides apparently far off. An unmatched offer sheet from the Saints would result in New Orleans’ No. 11 overall pick going to New England. Of course, that’s a steep price to pay and the Saints are reportedly unwilling to go that far to land the cornerback. The possibility of a sign-and-trade with lesser compensation could be in the cards, but right now the Pats are acting as though they want Butler back.
  • When asked about the possibility of trading quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, Kraft deferred that decision to coach Bill Belichick (Twitter link via Karen Guregian of The Boston Herald).

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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

[RELATED: Follow PFR On Instagram]

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.