No asking price is too high for Jimmy Garoppolo –– and teams should be willing to pay it
|03.13.17 at 1:47 pm ET|
If the Patriots are going to deal Jimmy Garoppolo, it’s apparent they want multiple first-round picks in return. Recent history suggests that’s a more than appropriate demand. Teams would be crazy to turn it down.
Despite Adam Schefter’s insistence that Garoppolo will stay in New England, trade rumors involving him will likely persist throughout the offseason –– and possibly into training camp. The Browns, due to their abundance of draft picks and pressing need for a quarterback, are often cited as the most sensible landing spot for Garoppolo. But apparently, they’re not willing to pay the necessary price.
According to Mary Cay Kabot of Cleveland.com, the Browns refuse to part with two first-round picks in order to bring Garoppolo aboard. She reports Cleveland insists on hanging onto the No. 1 overall selection, which it will likely use to draft defensive standout Myles Garrett.
While surrendering at least a couple of high draft picks to acquire somebody who’s played just five and a half impressive quarters in the NFL may seem outlandish, it’s the market rate for Garoppolo. Teams give up that kind of draft capital to bring in quarterbacks who haven’t even stepped onto a professional field.
Five years ago, the Redskins traded three first-round picks and a second-rounder to the Rams for the chance to draft Robert Griffin III. Following his Heisman trophy win as a senior with Baylor in 2011, Griffin looked like he was ready to dominate in the NFL. Washington gave up a lot to get him, of course, but a franchise quarterback is priceless. RGIII took home Rookie of the Year honors in 2012, but then injuries derailed his career. The Browns released him earlier this month.
The Rams and Eagles followed in the Redskins’ footsteps last year, when they each traded two first-round picks for the opportunity to draft Jared Goff (No. 1) and Carson Wentz (No. 2), respectively. Though Wentz showed some flashes of brilliance, neither quarterback impressed in his rookie campaign. Goff didn’t even start until Week 10.
There’s no guarantee Garoppolo, 25, will be a perennial Pro Bowler, but he has a better chance than rookies like Wentz and Goff. Garoppolo played spectacularly well during last year’s season-opener, posting a 106.1 rating in the Patriots’ 23-21 win at Arizona. His first half against the Dolphins the following week, in which he threw for three touchdown passes before leaving with a shoulder injury, was even better. It’s a small sample size, but Garoppolo has shown he can dissect NFL defenses. Oh, and he’s been learning behind Tom Brady for three years as well. That must be worth something.
At a press conference last November, Bill Belichick said Brady and Garoppolo are largely interchangeable.
“If you’re missing one receiver then maybe you get the timing with the other 10 players, … If you’re missing the quarterback, you could still get it and certainly we have a good quarterback in Jimmy and Jimmy could go out there and run everything that Tom can run,” he said. “We’ve seen that. I’m not saying that he’s not capable or qualified to do it. He is. And he does a great job of it. And when we put Jimmy in there, it’s really seamless. You can’t, unless you were actually looking at the position, if you could just block out that position and say which guy was in there at quarterback, I don’t know if you would know a lot of times.”
Over the last three years, there have been 15 head coaching changes in the NFL. Each coach has been given an average of roughly three seasons before getting canned. Gone are the days when coaches were given ample time to set up their programs. They’re now expected to win immediately.
In a previous era, Browns head coach Hue Jackson wouldn’t have to worry about losing his job after just one year. But Cleveland has cycled through eight head coaches since 2000, and owner Jimmy Haslam has fired four play-callers since he purchased the team in 2012. Given that history, Jackson should be lobbying hard for the Browns to acquire Garoppolo. His future there likely depends on it.
With one year left on his contract, any team that trades for Garoppolo would have to give him a monstrous extension as well. But that’s OK. As we’ve seen across the NFL, there’s no ceiling when it comes to the price clubs are willing to pay for a franchise quarterback.
Garoppolo is no different. Given his resume, teams should be willing to offer virtually their entire draft board for the chance to acquire him.
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