It was reported last month that the top priority of the Chicago Bears this off-season will be trading for New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garropolo.
ESPN's Adam Schefter said this morning the Patriots will not be trading Tom Brady's backup.
The trade for Garoppolo makes sense, to a point. He was successful during his six quarters as a starter last season, he's a local product with whom the Bears scouting department is very familiar, and the team saw him up close during their joint practice with the Patriots last off-season.
Yet Garoppolo, a 2014 second-round pick, carries almost as much risk as the top quarterbacks in this year's draft class, especially when you consider what the Bears would have to give up in a trade.
Garoppolo also plays in a system that is widely considered the best in the NFL, by a large margin, one that once made Matt Cassel the hottest free agent quarterback in the league.
So for many Bears fans, the Pats pulling Garoppolo off the market is a good thing but remember, we are in the heart of the NFL's "lying season."
The Patriots, always one of the shrewdest teams in the NFL when it comes to trades, obviously want top dollar for Garoppolo, so "leaks" like these may only be a ploy to drive up his price. Despite Schefter's report, it is extremely doubtful Bill Belichick, the most active trader in NFL history, is going to hang up on anyone looking to dump a king's ransom in his lap for a QB with just six quarters of NFL experience.
Don't completely rule out Garoppolo playing in a Bears uniform next season but it's clear GM Ryan Pace, or any NFL general manager, will be paying out the nose to land his new franchise quarterback.