The Cleveland Browns are considered the top suitor in any potential Jimmy Garoppolo deal for the Patriots. But any sort of hypothetical trade appears less and less likely to happen as the 2017 NFL Draft draws closer. 

Cleveland is loaded with picks and badly needs a quarterback, but the Patriots have put out the news through some pretty strong media leakage that they don't feel inclined to deal Garoppolo.

Many people believe that the Pats are just trying to drive the price up for Garoppolo, to get the Browns or perhaps the Houston Texans to pony up something crazy (multiple first-round picks?) for their backup quarterback. 

But maybe the disinterest is real. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Patriots remain committed to not dealing Garoppolo this offseason. 

"From my understanding, the Patriots do not want to deal Jimmy Garoppolo," Rapoport reported recently. "They really just don't, whether it's to the Browns, whether it's to the Texans. Their stance right now ... is they do not want to give up someone who they consider a franchise quarterback for a pick this year."

"The Browns may make a late run at Garoppolo," Rapoport explained, "but they do not seem to believe there's any hope there."

The problem is, apparently, the Patriots simply don't want to give up Garoppolo this offseason unless they are absolutely bowled over with an offer.

Their logic is that they can retain Garoppolo as insurance for a Tom Brady injury -- believing that they can win a Super Bowl with Garoppolo under center -- and franchise tag him in the offseason and then trade him next year. 

The value between this year and next year is basically the same, except Garoppolo is substantially cheaper in 2017 for New England as a form of insurance for Brady.

Next season he might command slightly less than he would right now in terms of return on a trade, but it's also possible he plays in four preseason games, looks like a world beater and his already absurdly high price gets even higher. 

The Patriots very often pull the right levers when it comes to personnel management, and it appears they're handling this the right way too. Even if they ultimately don't trade Garoppolo, they're making him look like one of the most valuable commodities in football without much to hang his hat on.