There’s been a lot of chatter around the Jaguars recently regarding trades. The team is reportedly set to trade for Branden Albert, and trade away Julius Thomas, with both deals being done with the Miami Dolphins for a low draft pick. But could a newer, much larger trade be on the horizon for Jacksonville, one that would certainly shake up the current Jaguars landscape?
Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report notes that several NFL executives believe that multiple teams are preparing offers for New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
I want to be clear about what I'm being told: They believe several teams are preparing to make blockbuster offers for Garoppolo. I'm not saying it will happen. I'm saying this is the belief of some around football. They think a draft shakeup is coming and that it will involve Garoppolo.
The increasingly popular view among some in the league is that Garoppolo can transform a franchise almost overnight and is worth a first-round pick.
This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, given that there’s been Garoppolo trade talk for nearly a year now. It seems almost inevitable that some team will trade for Jimmy G, it’s just more of a question as to who that team will be. With that in mind, could the Jaguars be one of those teams preparing an offer?
It makes sense on the surface. The Jaguars quarterback play has been less than spectacular, to say the least. Blake Bortles had a decent sophomore campaign, but his other two years have been quite underwhelming. Even in his decent year, Bortles showed some signs that he could be the guy going forward, but he still needed to improve upon that. Instead, he took a major step back in 2016, due to a plethora of factors like poor mechanics, poor coaching, and the team having no real running game. There is hope for Bortles to improve going forward under new leadership, but it’s difficult to put all your faith in a guy who came into the NFL as a project, and has yet to take significant steps forward to move on from that label.
There’s also the fact that the Jaguars are no longer operating fully under the lead of the decision makers who chose to take Bortles third overall. Dave Caldwell remains as general manager, but he no longer calls the shots. Once Tom Coughlin was hired as executive vice-president of football operations, he became the head man on campus. And while this has never been confirmed, and probably never will be, there were reports prior to Coughlin’s hiring that he was not a fan of Bortles.
So, the Jaguars need better quarterback play, they have draft capital, and they have a new shot-caller who is allegedly not a fan of the current quarterback. So could the Jaguars be one of the teams who makes an offer for Garoppolo’s services? After all, Garoppolo was considered a good draft prospect who was getting some 1st round buzz before the draft, but ultimately fell to the 2nd round, mainly due to playing at a small school. He has demonstrated the ability to be successful at the NFL in a limited sample size, but so have a lot of Patriots back-up quarterbacks; then again, most of those other guys weren’t considered the prospect that Garoppolo was.
While it makes some sense for the reasons listed above, it seems unlikely at this point. If teams are willing to part with a 1st round pick, that could easily push the Jaguars out of the running. Parting with a mid or lower first round pick is hard enough; parting with a top five pick is an even tougher challenge. On the other hand, teams often trade a lot more than that to move up and draft a quarterback, so maybe parting with that pick isn’t as crazy as it sounds. Still, it seems unlikely Coughlin and the Jags would be willing to make a move like that. If they like Garoppolo and want to trade for him, something like their 2nd and 4th round picks makes more sense. The question is, would the Patriots receive a better offer than that from another team? It sounds like that could end up being the case.
At this point, a trade for the Jags to acquire Garoppolo seems unlikely...but there are reasons to keep it in the back of your mind, just in case. You never know what will go down in the NFL, especially around draft time. How would you feel about a Garoppolo trade? Are you for or against it? Is there a certain price point that would affect your decision?