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The Sports Daily
Five likeliest trade destinations for Jimmy Garoppolo

Tom Brady looks ready to blow past the age-40 barrier and keep playing for the foreseeable future, regardless of what his wife wants him to do.

Meanwhile, Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has an NFL career that he’s trying to get started.

Garoppolo went 2-0 as a starter for the Patriots in 2016 when Brady served his Deflategate suspension, throwing four touchdown passes and no interceptions.

It’s hard to find a good quarterback these days, and this year’s quarterback draft class looks like the bread shelves at a New England supermarket before a blizzard.

And even though the Patriots seem to want to hold onto Garoppolo, his sample size as a starter might just be enough to convince some teams that the 25-year-old is their quarterback of the future. New England may get an offer that they won’t be able to refuse, from one of these five teams:

Jets

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bryce Petty and Geno Smith combined for 16 touchdown passes and 25 interceptions last season. Fitzpatrick and Smith will become free agents, leaving the Jets with Petty and Christian Hackenberg.

Petty threw three touchdown passes and seven interceptions in 2016. Hackenberg became the first quarterback since Brian Brohm in 2008 drafted in the first or second round who didn’t throw a pass in his rookie season.

Even if they re-sign Fitzpatrick and Smith, the Jets’ quarterback cupboard will barely have anything more than cobwebs. To get Garoppolo from a division rival, however, the Jets will have to ship a boatload of picks to New England.

Bills

Now that the Bills are no longer coached by Rex Ryan, perhaps Bill Belichick will answer phone calls from the 716 area code.

Statistically, Tyrod Taylor was pretty much the same quarterback in 2016 that he was in 2015. He threw six interceptions in both seasons, with 3,035 passing yards in 2015 and 3,023 yards in 2016. He completed 63.7 percent of his passes in 2015, and 61.7 percent in 2016. And as it relates to touchdowns, he threw 20 in 2015, and 17 in 2016.

Most importantly, Taylor won seven games in both seasons. That’s not good enough to get into the playoffs and the Bills might decide it’s not good enough for him to more than double the salary cap space he takes up in 2017.

E.J. Manuel is a bust, and Cardale Jones needs a lot more work than Jimmy Garappolo would need.

Browns

Seven different players threw passes for the Browns last season, and the only one to win a game for them was Robert Griffin III. Cody Kessler, who the Browns drafted in the third round last season, is injury-prone.

Garoppolo would be the 27th quarterback to start for the Browns since the franchise returned to Cleveland in 1999. It wouldn’t be all too difficult to rise to the top of that list.

The Browns have five draft picks among the top 65, so they can put together a nice little package for a potential trade. We all know Belichick loves having picks at his disposal.

Bears

Jay Cutler turns 34 in the offseason and is 17-29 as a starter in the last four seasons. Brian Hoyer is a temp in the starting quarterback business. Matt Barkley started the last six games for the Bears last season. In the last three, he threw four touchdown passes and 10 interceptions.

The Bears lost 13 games last season for the first time since 1969. They finished last in the NFC North for the third straight season. There’s no time for a long rebuild. Garoppolo would probably provide a quicker return than any quarterback they could draft with the No. 3 pick.

49ers

A quarterback controversy between Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick is like figuring out which wall paint will dry on first.

That numbing concept would end if the 49ers acquired Garoppolo.

On paper, this potential move would make a lot of sense. Given the complete overhaul that the 49ers franchise recently went through in the front office, bringing in a new face to start under center looks to be just what the doctor ordered.

New 49ers general manager John Lynch has a nice working relationship with Bill Belichick. He played for the Patriots in the 2008 preseason before retiring. Lynch told Belichick he was done, but asked if he could play in all of the fourth preseason game that year. Belichick, at first, didn’t want to do that, but ultimately let him do it, and he recorded five tackles in the game.

Considering that history, perhaps another deal can be worked out between Lynch and Belichick.