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Mike Florio on Kirk & Callahan: Bill Belichick may be using Adam Schefter to increase Jimmy Garoppolo’s value

03.09.17 at 11:01 am ET
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Jimmy Garoppolo's future in New England promises to be a hot topic all offseason long. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Jimmy Garoppolo’s future in New England promises to be a hot topic all offseason long. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Last week, ESPN’s Adam Schefter sent shockwaves through the football world when he said the Patriots aren’t expected to trade Jimmy Garoppolo this year. In an interview with WEEI’s OM&F, Schefter doubled down on his report, saying he guaranteed Garoppolo would be with New England next season.

On Kirk & Callahan Thursday, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio said he doesn’t share Schefter’s certainty. While he thinks it’s possible Garoppolo could stay with the Patriots, he’s not ready to dismiss the possibility of a trade.

“It’s one thing to say, ‘I guarantee you that Garoppolo will be on the Patriots.’ It’s another thing to say they’re not expected to trade him,” Florio said. “When you say ‘not expected to trade,’ that very well may be true at the time, but a message that is being sent by Bill Belichick through Adam Schefter to the rest of the league that ‘I am not going to enter into any negotiations from a position of weakness. I am going to enter into those talks from a position of strength.'”

When informed about Schefter’s guarantee, Florio brushed it aside.

“I think that it’s a safe guess to make. What’s going to happen? Are they going to fire him if he’s wrong about that?,” he asked.

Later in the interview, Florio floated out his own Garoppolo theory. He says he can envision the 2014 second-round pick signing a contract extension with the Patriots and waiting to take over for Tom Brady –– even if it takes several more years.

“Jimmy Garoppolo has to ask himself: ‘Do I want to play for the Browns; do I want to potentially flame out in Cleveland? Or do I want to hang around for another three years behind Tom Brady?’ And I’d like to think that Garoppolo is in a position where he can get a straight answer to the question of how long Tom Brady is going to play, since they’re both represented by the same agency,” Florio said. “There’s got to be a way to hypothetically pass that information through to Garoppolo so he can make a good decision about what he’s going to do. But if it’s three more years, and let’s say they would sign him to a deal that pays him –– I don’t know –– $9 or $10 million per year over the next couple of years. I’d be tempted to stay and take over for Brady.”

While Garoppolo’s future remains a question, the Patriots stuck early in free agency Thursday, reportedly agreeing to terms with cornerback Stephon Gilmore on a big contract. Florio said he’s surprised Belichick would pay market value for a big-ticket player, and wonders what message it sends to Malcolm Butler, who’s currently a restricted free agent.

“The details of this Gilmore contract [are] going to be fascinating, because if they paid him market value, it cuts against everything the Patriots do by way of getting guys to take less,” he said. “And it’s a tough message to send. When you have a locker room full of guys, and you have carefully crafted this culture over the years of getting guys to buy in, do your job, take less money, be part of the championship experience, and none of those guys get a windfall. And you’re going to give a windfall to a guy that has never spent a single moment with the franchise. That’s a tough one to sell, and that’s why I think this deal –– my initial suspicion is, if it’s worth $14 [million], there’s some fluff in there. But we’ll see how it plays out.”

Read More: adam schefter, Jimmy Garoppolo, Mike Florio, New England Patriots

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