BOSTON (CBS) — Bill Belichick has responded to his first losing season in 20 years by adding loads of talent up and down his roster. He might not be done — and he might still be looking to target the most important position on the field.
That’s according to ESPN’s Diana Russini. While her sources came from outside the Patriots’ organization rather than inside the walls of Gillette Stadium, she nevertheless presented some interesting scuttlebutt on Thursday when she noted that folks around the league believe the Patriots have not quit in their hope of acquiring Jimmy Garoppolo from the 49ers.READ MORE: Bill Belichick's Biggest Misses In NFL Draft
“Just recently I was talking to somebody in the league who I really trust,” Russini said on “Get Up” on Thursday. “He’s got good information. He said, ‘Do not take the Jimmy Garoppolo trade off the table.’ That is something New England is still sniffing out.”
Russini added: “Bill [Belichick] doesn’t like to put his cards out on the table, so most [people] think, ‘Oh well if we all know about that, that probably won’t happen.’ But there is definitely a tone in the league that it could still go down.”READ MORE: Robert Kraft Hopes Patriots' Big Spending Leads To Big Turnaround -- But Admits Team's Drafting Must Improve
Much of the whispers and speculation of a potential Patriots trade for Garoppolo has quieted down, as the 49ers have not been mentioned as the landing spot for a quarterback who would be considered an upgrade. (Garoppolo’s current contract runs through 2022, but the 49ers have have already paid him all of his guaranteed money, meaning the team could trade or release him without taking a sizable hit in dead money against the salary cap.) But with the draft still a month away and teams figuring out their approaches at the position, a potential Belichick-Garoppolo reunion can still be considered a possibility — however remote it may actually be.
Russini also noted that while Cam Newton has been a personality fit with Belichick and the Patriots, the team is still clearly not committed to him as their QB of the future.MORE NEWS: Patriots' Justin Herron Honored As A Hero For Helping Stop A Sexual Assault In Tempe, Arizona
“No, that is not the sense I’m getting around league circles, that Cam Newton is the guy that the New England Patriots are building this offense around. They spent $100 million-plus signing all these free agents for a quarterback that is making about $5 million. His contract tells you how they feel about him. They don’t think he’s the future of the New England Patriots,” Russini said. “In terms of playing — because that’s what this is going to come down at the end of the day. Everyone can like each other and get a long and Kumbaya, but he’s gotta go out there and perform.”