Here's exactly why the Patriots are lying about not trading Jimmy Garoppolo

INDIANAPOLIS -- Do you believe the talk that the New England Patriots will not trade quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo -- no matter what?

It’s about as believable as a sleeveless hoodie becoming a fashion trend.

There have been many reports by several high-profile media members who keep insisting that the Patriots will not trade Garoppolo, even if they get blown away by an offer.

I don’t believe it.

Can I say it again: I don’t believe it.

This, to me, smells of a calculated play by Patriots coach and general manager Bill Belichick. He is trying to drive up the price for Garoppolo. What would be the point to keeping him?

There is none.

Tom Brady has continually said he will play another four years or more, and who’s to say he can’t? He turns 40 this year, but he was sensational rallying the Patriots from 25 points down to claim a Super Bowl victory over the Falcons last month. Did he look old? Washed up? Breaking down?

So why keep Garoppolo around? Some will say it’s insurance for next season. Let me tell you something: If Brady were to go down for any length of time, the Patriots are done.

Garoppolo looked good in his two starts last season, but being the guy for 12-14 games is an entirely different animal. And we know he wouldn’t come close to being in the Brady-sphere for a long time -- if ever.

So let’s just say the Patriots don’t trade him. Then they have him for one year as a backup -- hopefully one who never plays -- and then they do what? Tag him in 2018? That would be a $50 million commitment to two quarterbacks, one a backup. Yeah, sure, that’s happening. If the Patriots didn’t tag Garoppolo, they lose him and hope to just get a compensatory pick, probably a third-rounder.

So maybe they tag him and trade him. There goes their leverage. All the teams would know they couldn’t keep Garoppolo at a gigantic cap number with Brady scheduled to have a cap number of $22 million in 2018. And if Garoppolo doesn’t play a game in 2018, isn’t it out of sight, out of mind?

Right now, the Patriots have all the bargaining power. That’s why I think they are leaking to media members and Belichick friends that Garoppolo isn’t going anywhere. That can only drive up the price, right?

I like Garoppolo. If I were the Cleveland Browns, I would offer the 12th pick in the first round of this April’s draft and something else to get him. But to think this kid is going to sit for four years, and then take over in New England when Brady does hang it up is sheer stupidity.

The Patriots know this. The rest of league knows this.

That’s why I don’t believe it. What would be the point to hold onto him?

Again, give me a good reason.

This is The Hoodie being The Hoodie, trying to get another one over on the rest of the league. He’s playing a game of poker. Problem is, nobody believes his bluff.

I certainly don’t. It’s Belichick playing an angle, and we know he has done that a bunch of different ways in the past. He is smart, calculating and cunning. This is another example of that.

This is a way to try to get more than a first-round pick for Garoppolo. Maybe if Belichick makes it seem like he will keep Garoppolo, somebody will floor him with an unreal offer.

There are a lot of personnel men in the league who think Belichick loves to play the draft process more than he does coaching now. That’s what this seems like. He will get picks, then use them to probably get even more, and continue to build his roster around Brady, who is still playing at a high level. He is playing with a commodity, using it to his advantage.

This is a man who discards loyal Patriots players when he wants, how he wants. He has dumped stars in the their prime with an eye on the future. That’s the roster game he supposedly loves so much now. This is his time. This is just another move in his arsenal.

Keep Garoppolo? I just don’t see it -- or, better yet, the reason for it.

It’s just Bill being Bill.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an... Full Bio

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