A Browns trade for Jimmy Garoppolo has been considered without merit for some time now, as the Patriots simply don’t want to part ways with their potential successor to Tom Brady.

However, it would make sense that any new life in talks between Cleveland and New England would start this week, less than 10 days ahead of the NFL draft, which takes place in Philadelphia April 27-29.

Player personnel director Nick Caserio was expectedly vague when asked about the future of Garoppolo and whether or not the quarterback is for sale.

“Anything that we do, we’re always going to do what we think is in the best interest of our football team, and that’s how we approach it,” Caserio said Tuesday, via The Boston Herald. “That’s not going to change. Whatever you think is best for our team for 2017, for that season, then that’s what we’ll do. However that manifests itself, not exactly sure, but that’s where the focus is, is trying to put together the best team possible for the 2017 season. However that comes about, then we’ll take it as it comes.”

This was likely just Caserio’s attempt at being entirely non-controversial. The Bill Belichick line has always been we’ll do what’s best for our football team and only now does it sound remotely evasive. While it makes too much sense for Cleveland to swing a deal and immediately acquire the most professional-ready quarterback available to be their starter for next season, New England seems too invested in its series of backstops to ensure their success even if father time eventually catches up with their soon-to-be 40-year-old quarterback.

Of course, if there was one team that was able to slip through smokescreen season completely undetected, having worked out this year’s crop of quarterbacks in anticipation of a Garoppolo deal without tipping off the rest of the NFL, it would be the New England Patriots. In that way, even with Caserio’s most serious effort to not sound suspicious, New England sounds just the slightest bit so.

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