Imrem: Patriots might save Garoppolo from football purgatory

  • New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo speaks with members of the media in the team's locker room following an NFL football practice, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass.

    New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo speaks with members of the media in the team's locker room following an NFL football practice, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass.

Updated 3/1/2017 7:18 PM

A news flash early Wednesday morning indicated that Jimmy Garoppolo doesn't have to worry about the Patriots trading him to the Chicago Bears.

Myriad fans around here want New England's current backup to be the Bears' franchise quarterback of the future. Ah, but ESPN reported that the Patriots won't trade Garoppolo.


Say it ain't so-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!

Bears general manager Ryan Pace indicated at the NFL Scouting Combine that the situations concerning Jay Cutler and overall QB position are fluid.

Let's hope that also applies to the Patriots. Maybe New England guru Bill Belichick's backchannel signals to ESPN are mere posturing to drive up the price for Garoppolo.

I have wanted the Bears to acquire Garoppolo since they passed on him in the second round of the 2014 collegiate draft.

Look, I live in Arlington Heights. Garoppolo is from Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows High School and Eastern Illinois University.

I have been partial to athletes who grew up around here since I watched Dick Butkus play football in the Chicago Public League, at Illinois and for the Bears.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

To me it's always great when an athlete competes for his hometown team, and the assumption normally is that he would like to.

A Browns reporter wrote on last month, "Garoppolo is also a Chicago-area native and would undoubtedly love a chance to start for his hometown team."

Undoubtedly, huh?

Well, maybe not.

After the most recent of my columns campaigning for a Garoppolo-Bears marriage, a couple of emails recommended that I at least consider reconsidering.

The subject line on one from a reader who has known Garoppolo since he was a kid: "Jimmy is a nice kid, why hurt him?"

The message was, "Why would you wish (Bears owners) the McCaskeys and whatever second-rate coach they come up with next on the poor soul when he could work for the Patriots organization and Belichick?"

Another email suggested that neither Garoppolo nor his family wants any part of the Bears.

What bothers me is these readers made sense: Why would Jimmy Garoppolo want the Patriots to trade him to Chicago?


Remember, the Bears are known for being the franchise where quarterback careers go to die.

Many baseball players over the past few decades embraced the challenge of coming here for the chance to be on the Chicago Cubs team that finally won a World Series.

A quarterback might want to become the Bears' first premier one since the 1940s … but failing would be excruciating.

Being from here, Garoppolo saw fans welcome Derrick Rose when his hometown Chicago Bulls drafted him; then he left ignominiously after disappointing them.

That's nothing compared to what a quarterback would endure if he failed to fulfill fans' hopes and didn't lead the Bears to a Super Bowl title.

It's probably selfish of me to continue wanting to subject Garoppolo to such intense pressure.

Yeah, it is, but so what?

Sports aren't about athletes. They're about us. In this case, Garoppolo is about me.

It isn't too much for a lifelong Chicagoan like me to ask an area product to play a risk-reward game with his career for the greater local good.

I'm disregarding everything reported Wednesday and still hoping the Bears acquire Jimmy Garoppolo.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.