To paraphrase Mr. T, we pity the fool who tries to read Bill Belichick’s mind. The Patriots coach, fresh off Lombardi Trophy No. 5, is as likely to keep Jimmy Garoppolo on the roster to play behind Tom Brady as he is to ship him elsewhere in exchange for a boatload of draft picks. And while neither scenario would surprise us, there’s no predicting what the man will do.

Put another way: We’re just going to have to wait to see what happens. And “we” includes Garoppolo, who is currently in wait-and-see mode.

“Your guess is as good as mine,” Garoppolo told ESPN’s Adam Schefter during an appearance on his podcast.

“For the most part I’m just trying to stay level-headed, try not to overthink it too much,” the quarterback continued. “Because at the end of the day I’m still under contract. It’s not my decision if I get traded or if I don’t. So you try to take it all in stride.”

Garoppolo has been linked to the Browns, a team desperate for a franchise quarterback. And earlier this month,’s Mary Kay Cabot wrote that while the Browns will do their due diligence on the 2017 quarterback class, the organization “is intrigued [by Garoppolo] ... and they’ll strongly consider it. The cost could be the No. 12 overall pick and more.”

The expectation is that the Patriots will be looking for at least a first-round pick for Garoppolo; the Browns have the No. 1 and No. 12 pick, while the Bears have the No. 3 pick. We mention Chicago because they’re in desperate need of a quarterback, and Garoppolo played at Eastern Illinois in college.

“I really don’t know how it’d feel (playing in Illinois),” Garoppolo told Schefter, though the quarterback conceded that, “I’ve only been in Foxborough, so I don’t know anything different in the NFL yet.” 

Of course, this all assumes that the Pats don’t just decide to keep Garoppolo for themselves, presumably as Brady’s replacement, because logic suggests a 39-year-old will retire sooner rather than later.

The thinking: Despite Brady’s proclamations, he will not, in fact, play forever. In October 2015, he said he had another decade left. And this last December, he said he plans to play another five or six years. Brady will turn 40 in August and the Patriots reportedly think he can play for another three years.

And if the end comes sooner than that, the Patriots don’t want to be without a replacement. Put another way: Keeping Garoppolo around makes all the sense in the world if the plan is to promote him in the next couple years. And with one year left on his rookie deal, Garoppolo is a bargain for 2017 (he’ll make $820,000 next season), and the team can worry about re-signing him a year from now.