Jimmy Garoppolo might be the most valuable trade commodity in the NFL this offseason. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Jimmy Garoppolo might be the most valuable trade commodity in the NFL this offseason. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

The Boston Globe says baseball still owns our hearts in the Hub, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Despite the hoards of cargo shorts-wearing beat writers who have descended upon Red Sox Spring Training, the biggest Boston sports story of the season is happening more than 1,000 miles away from the confines of JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla. Somewhere in the bowels of Gillette Stadium, Patriots staffers are planning out their offseason. They’re evaluating draft prospects, free agents and, most importantly, whether to trade Jimmy Garoppolo. That’s where the action is.

It wasn’t too long ago that Red Sox hot stove talk routinely wrestled attention away from the Patriots. This most infamously happened in December 2003, when the Red Sox were on the verge of acquiring Alex Rodriguez. Excitement about the possibility of A-Rod playing in Boston dwarfed the interest surrounding Tom Brady chasing a Super Bowl title. Nowadays, trade talk about Brady’s backup dominates the airwaves. It’s been quite a turn of events.

In less than two months’ time, the Red Sox will be gearing up for Opening Day and the Celtics will be on the verge of beginning what could be their longest playoff run since 2012. But the daily drama, the kind that fuels talk radio and draws website traffic, will likely be Garoppolo’s status with the Patriots. It’s already sparked endless rumors, and even a feud between ESPN colleagues.

In December, Adam Schefter told Kirk & Callahan the Patriots expect to receive at least a first-round and fourth-round pick in return for Garoppolo. This statement prompted Trent Dilfer to call his co-worker a pawn during an appearance with Dale & Holley later that day.

“I can promise you nobody is trading a first and a fourth for Jimmy. Now, it’s smart that the brass in New England is using Adam [Schefter] to get that headline out there because now they are starting the market there,” he said.

Schefter fired back the following week, which prompted Dilfer to apologize. But that will probably be far from the last media squabble centered around Garoppolo’s availability or status. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport insists the Patriots are open to dealing Garoppolo, much like Schefter. The MMQB’s Peter King and ESPN’s Ed Werder, meanwhile, think he’s staying put. On Wednesday, Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman poured kerosene on the fire, reporting several teams are preparing to make blockbuster offers for Garoppolo.

The Garoppolo story has it all: mystery, debate and big stakes. Since the Patriots are perhaps the most tight-lipped and unpredictable organization in sports, it’s a genuine question about how they’ll proceed. There’s a real argument, to be had, too. With Tom Brady still at the top of his game, it seems prudent to trade Garoppolo for a haul this offseason. He’s entering the final year of his contract and is fresh off the glow from playing one-and-a-half sterling games in Brady’s absence. If the Patriots want to cash in, this will probably be their best chance to do it.

Then again, Brady will be 40 years old in August. He says he wants to play five more years, but his football mortality will eventually catch up to him. Assuming Garoppolo will be a successful NFL starter, maybe the Patriots should try to sign him to an extension. They would be tying up a lot of money in the quarterback position, but that’s a short-term hit. The security of having their next QB under contract may be worth it.

In this case, one single personnel decision could alter the course of the franchise for the next decade. If the Patriots trade Garoppolo and Brady falters over the next two years, Bill Belichick would have difficulty defending the move. It would be maybe the biggest blemish on his resume, the one time in which he lacked foresight.

But if Brady continues to defy age, and the Patriots recoup their lost first-round pick in a Garoppolo trade, then the move would be heralded as Belichick’s greatest coup. The future of the organization is on the line.

With all due respect to the Red Sox, there’s no decision they can make in sleepy Fort Myers that carries the same kind of importance. Even the Celtics, who are only three games behind the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference, seem to be engaging in little more than a fun little sideshow. If the first night of the NFL Draft coincides with an opening round Celtics playoff game, there’s little doubt about which event will generate more interest.

From September-February, the Patriots were the best story in town. That won’t change this spring, as long as Garoppolo trade rumors continue to swirl.

Blog Author: 
Alex Reimer
Hour 4. Evan Drellich joins the show. A fight for the ages ensues.
Hour 3. Kirk and Gerry react to their interview with Sale.
Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale joins the show.
Hour 2. Curtis brought his dog. Kirk saw Fences. Lou thought Trenni got in the way.
Hour 1. Evan Drellich attacked Kirk and Gerry for their interview with John Farrell. Kirk had an accident.

Good morning, here is your Wednesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

Good morning, here is your Wednesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

NHL: Washington at Philadelphia, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Boston at Anaheim, 10:30 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Michigan at Rutgers, 6:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: DePaul at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Duke at Syracuse, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Pittsburgh at Wake Forest, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: TCU at Kansas, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: UCF at Temple, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Xavier at Seton Hall, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Minnesota at Maryland, 8:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Butler at Villanova, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Louisville at North Carolina, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Oklahoma St. at Kansas State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oregon at California, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: UConn at Houston, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Fresno St. at San Diego State, 11 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Oregon State at Stanford, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)


— It was announced on Tuesday Tom Brady and his wife Gisele Bündchen will serve as co-chairs for the 2017 Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Met Gala on May 1.

The power couple will join Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams and Anna Wintour as chairs of the annual event.

Brady and Gisele are no strangers to the Met Gala and have made many memorable appearances on the red carpet there.

—  Sammy Sosa has long-denied using performance enhancing drugs during his career and now says he believes the scrutiny he faces is comparable to what Jesus Christ faced.

“It’s like Jesus Christ when he came to Jerusalem. Everybody thought Jesus Christ was a witch, and he was our savior,” Sosa said to told former Cubs media relations employee Chuck Wasserstrom for an interview on Wasserstrom’s blog. “So if they talk s–t about Jesus Christ, what about me? Are you kidding me?”

Sosa spent 18 years with the Cubs before he was traded in 2004.

“I have my pride, and I know I had a tremendous career in Chicago,” Sosa said. “When nobody knew who Chicago was, I put Chicago on the map. Like you said, if I could have done it again, I would have done it differently.”

Sosa also said he would “never say no” if the Cubs asked him to return in some capacity but the organization would have to reach out to him.

“A lot of people say so many things, but I’m telling you — they have nothing on me,” Sosa continued. “I’m not going to go out there begging, because they have no case. They had the Mitchell report trying to find something, but they had nothing on Mr. Sosa.”

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I really don’t hold grudges. I mean, I remember everything, but I move on. Envy and jealousy are incurable diseases. The haters still hate. And I understand it, and we’ll do our best to keep them in that position.” — Robert Kraft, on his feelings for the NFL after Deflategate

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Rajon Rondo (31)

Blog Author: 
Lucy Burdge
Villani and Tomase are talking about the Red Sox skipper John Farrell. They talk about Farrell's job security not being a concern with the extension he signed, and is he a good in-game manager?

[0:01:04] ... That was the exchange this morning between one hurt man and one John Farrell crystal Lonnie Johnson Nazr if you right now. Obviously one of those three moves was the eighth inning Detroit August that we ...
[0:07:37] ... now. There is no chance in hell that in a similar situation John Farrell with the Craig Kimbrel on the bench that is not happening like it did with that Britain last year. That was not happening out cows watched by. That just shows you that even great managers can make that. But there's no question that if the Red Sox don't win and again another thing it's at all last year Brad office said this we also this if the Red Sox don't win their final game. Which means to win the World Series. Or if they win their final game and it's to not make the playoffs. The blame is gonna go to John Farrell after winning 93 games and in getting to the post season after two straight last place finishes. I was. Two in the ...
[0:08:49] ... They have made up their mind on this guy. Get these not Terry Francona because he's what ever. This guy can't manage they have made up their minds period and nothing is going to sway them anything you try to put forward is going to be decried as fake news guy and summarily dismissed and that is it. Over now it's only actually people I didn't. Via let me look at it's a they they win the World Series in 2013 if you asked people now did they win that World Series because of John Farrell in spite of John Farrell. While in spite of Farrah. Really let's go back in time when he twelve Bobby Valentine. That whole thing was a freaking mess and you needed someone to come in and clean up that mask and John Farrell was that guy. And was it really preordained that that team was gonna win the World Series Shane Victorino Mike Napoli. You know Ollie these guys that they brought in on the short maker contracts and then they all deliver and yes the ...
[0:10:12] ... one of those things and textures and announcing it's that he not Terry Francona I guess is that the same that he committed. The other house Terry Francona was done here that I think breaded if you replaced Terry Francona. I I still wouldn't fully understand that I can sort of understand tigers did at least the rationale behind it. There was a Bobby Valentine buffer in between that should have made you long for the sweet release of John Farrell just to save you from whenever Bobby Valentine was killing. And now. Yeah I mean here's how they here's the objective look ...

Villani takes some calls from some Celtics fans who may have some strange trade proposals.