HOUSTON — Super Bowl LI very well could be Jimmy Garoppolo’s final game in a New England Patriots uniform.
The Patriots quarterback has one year remaining on his rookie contract, but his name appears in trade rumors on an almost daily basis. In the last three days alone, he’s been mentioned as a potential trade target for the Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears, both of whom desperately need a fresh face under center.
With Tom Brady still playing at an All-Pro level at age 39, the Patriots soon will need to decide whether to hold on to Garoppolo until after Brady retires — whenever that might be — or deal him before that and acquire a draft pick or two in return.
With every player required to meet with the media during Super Bowl week, Garoppolo has faced countless questions about these rumors. And each time, he’s given the same response.
“Honestly, I really haven’t even thought about it,” the third-year pro said Thursday at the Patriots’ Super Bowl LI hotel. “I know I sound like a broken record to you guys, but with this whole week, there’s so many things going on, so many variables off the field with family, getting them here and everything, that it’s a lot to juggle. Just to focus on that is hard enough.”
Some professional athletes voraciously seek out every article written or tweet sent about them, while others prefer not to pay attention to media reports and the like. Garoppolo decided early in his NFL career to be one of the latter.
“I don’t read it at all,” he said. “No offense to you (reporters) or anything, but it’s just… I don’t know. I remember when I first came in the league, I saw someone tweet something that wasn’t true, and it kind of just threw me off. I was just like, ‘What? That’s not even close to being true.’
“It wasn’t about me, but I was just reading it, and I was like, ‘I know that (isn’t true).’ Once you’re behind the scenes of everything, you see that stuff. So not too much, sorry.”
Thumbnail photo via Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports Images