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FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 25: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers walks to the sideline during the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on October 25, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Yes, it’s The Lying Season™. But all the top reporters around the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers are conveying the same general message: if you want a Garoppolo trade, wait until 2022.

Peter King said that in so many words in his Monday column at Pro Football Talk: “I’m not very bullish on the Patriots making a move for Garoppolo this year. At all. … I just can’t see Belichick making a big investment [in a pick and in a contract] in a guy who’s missed 23 games in the last three years due to injury. Plus, if New England gets a quarterback, somehow, high in this draft, they’d have salary-manageability and a young prospect, and the yearning for Garoppolo goes away. If the Patriots don’t get a quarterback this year, I could see them pursue Garoppolo on the cheap in 2022. We’ll see.”

ESPN’s Mike Reiss has also earmarked 2022 as the more likely scenario for a potential Garoppolo trade back to New England. In his most recent Sunday column for ESPN.com, Reiss described the Pats’ plans at quarterback as being on “pause” for now.

That falls right in line with the reporting from the other side, where Adam Schefter declared shortly after the Niners’ big trade with the Dolphins that they have no plans to trade Garoppolo. San Francisco GM John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan also seemed to describe a situation in which their first-round pick in the 2021 draft (almost certainly a quarterback) will spend a year sitting behind Garoppolo.

It all adds up to a situation in which the trade talks are dead – for now. “Dead” isn’t the right word, because we shouldn’t assume they can’t come back to life. “Pause”, as Reiss described it, seems to be the best way to look at it right now. This is a standoff, with Garoppolo stuck in the middle. And Garoppolo himself may end up being the one having to make the decision, since he has his no-trade clause and a contract that he’d have to agree to restructure.

So let’s stick with the assumption that the Garoppolo trade discussions really are on “pause” right now, but the Patriots and Niners may hit the “Play” button again around the draft at the end of this month. If the Patriots don’t come out of that with Garoppolo, then the chances of waiting until 2022 will truly skyrocket. But the trade rumors are only over for now and return at any moment. Talk is cheap. Always be ready for action.

If the Patriots don’t get Garoppolo in a draft-day trade, it’s possible that they take a quarterback at some point on day 2. Here are the top options at the position that will be available to them.

MORE: Patriots Mock Draft 2.0

Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.