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The Saints’ Next Quarterback May Already Be In The NFL

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Dec 18, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Saints defeated the Cardinals 48-41. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 18, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Saints defeated the Cardinals 48-41. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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NFL: Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots
NFL: Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots /

Jimmy Garoppolo (age 25, Patriots)

This was the among the most popular Saints rumors at mid-season, and at first glance it is easy to see why. Sean Payton and Patriots coach Bill Belichick have been trade-partners before. The three straight years that the two teams have scrimmaged each other is further indication of the trust between the two men and organizations.  New England also has a reputation of trading away players who are coming into a contract year. Garoppolo’s contract is up after 2017.  His play in preseason games has been somewhat uneven, but he performed well in two regular season games while replacing the suspended Tom Brady, showing good accuracy while averaging 248 yards per game, with zero interceptions against four touchdowns. By the way, Garoppolo, a second-round pick in 2014, attended Eastern Illinois. EIU is the alma mater of a certain Saints head coach.

BUYER BEWARE! New England has been in almost this exact situation twice before, with quarterbacks Matt Cassell and Ryan Mallett. The Patriots traded away these players before they hit free agency, and both Cassell and Mallett were more than underwhelming for numerous teams thereafter.  The unproven Garoppolo wants to be a starter, and therefore paid like one as he enters free agency. (Brock Osweiler, anyone?) The Saints have about as much need for an immediate starter at the quarterback position as, well, the New England Patriots.

Final Verdict: Jimmy Garoppolo will not be a New Orleans Saint.

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