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Adam Schefter is staking his reputation on the Patriots keeping Jimmy Garoppolo

03.10.17 at 10:28 am ET
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Adam Schefter (left) is the most trusted NFL reporter in the country. (Brian Spurlock/USA Today Sports)

Adam Schefter (light) is the most trusted NFL reporter in the country. (Brian Spurlock/USA Today Sports)

Adam Schefter is adamant the Patriots will keep Jimmy Garoppolo. If he’s wrong, it will cost him his reputation.

This all started back in December, when Schefter said on Kirk & Callahan the Patriots expect to receive at least a first- and fourth-round pick in return for the backup quarterback. That statement prompted Trent Dilfer to call his co-worker a pawn during an appearance with Dale & Holley, which resulted in Schefter firing back.

“I can tell you that nobody in New England has ever told me a certain price that they want or are expecting on Jimmy Garoppolo. I can promise you that,” he said on K&C earlier this year. “The New England brass is not using me to get a price out on Jimmy Garoppolo. That’s a fact we can dispel right there. That’s incorrect.”

Then last week, Schefter dropped another bombshell: the Patriots aren’t expected to trade Garoppolo at all. The acclaimed NFL Insider doubled-down on his assertion with OM&F later that day, saying he guaranteed Garoppolo would stay in New England.

It’s not unusual for Schefter, or any journalist, to defend their reporting. But Schefter has gone beyond that in recent days. He’s launched a full-blown PR campaign, bristling at anybody who dares to suggest the Patriots may still make Garoppolo available.

When members of an ESPN NFL panel brought up the topic Thursday, Schefter appeared agitated.

“You guys want to keep talking about this,?” he muttered.

Despite Schefter’s guarantees, there are still murmurs about Garoppolo heading elsewhere. Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot reports the Browns intend to make a strong run at Garoppolo, freshly armed with a 2018 second-round pick they received from the Texans in exchange for taking on Brock Osweiler’s entire salary. But on “SportsCenter” Friday morning, Schefter said the Patriots have no intention of trading Garoppolo to Cleveland, even if they were offered several first-round selections.

“The facts are the facts: Jimmy Garoppolo is going to be on the Patriots, but we can continue to talk about [it], he explained. One person there said, ‘If they get four [first-round picks], they wouldn’t trade him.”

That seems a tad hyperbolic, which might be why Schefter didn’t repeat the claim afterwards on K&C. But he channeled his inner-Skip Bayless once again, declaring the Patriots would be destined for futility if Tom Brady were to get hurt and Garoppolo wasn’t on the roster to take his place.

“If they traded Jimmy Garoppolo and something were to happen to Tom Brady next season, the year after, they would be the Cleveland Browns,” he said. “It would the Cleveland Browns. What would they be doing at quarterback? What was it like for that franchise before Tom Brady came along?”

To make matters even more bizarre, while Schefter was making these grand proclamations, Garoppolo’s Instagram account posted a goodbye message to New England. The reported hoax was deleted at 9:30 a.m.

There’s no doubting Schefter’s flawless reputation in NFL circles. According to a Washington Post profile, he often swaps information with teams, exchanging scoops for scoops. But his steadfast denial about the Patriots even entertaining a Garoppolo trade flies in the face of conventional wisdom, and frankly, common sense. Though quarterback is the most important position in sports, it seems unfathomable to suggest the Patriots would never consider trading Garoppolo –– even for multiple first-rounders. Every player is believed to have a price, especially considering Brady played arguably the best football of his career last season. In February, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, who used to cover the Patriots for the Boston Herald, reported the team wants to extend Brady’s contract past 2019. Considering Garoppolo’s rookie deal is up after this season, it’s difficult to imagine why the Patriots would want to re-sign Brady if they’re planning on handing the reigns over to him. It’s also hard to see why Garoppolo would want to stay and back up, when he could be a starter elsewhere.

Due to his refusal to cede any ground, Schefter is at odds with many of his colleagues in the NFL media. He better be right, or else his word will no longer take precedent over theirs.

Read More: Adam Schefter, Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots,