The New England Patriots have a genuine desire to retain Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason.

Garoppolo is perhaps the most intriguing trade target in recent league history due to the continued excellence of Tom Brady despite his advancing age and how well Garoppolo has played in Brady's absence.

The thinking is that Brady will want to play three more seasons but there's a caveat that he could retire sooner if the Patriots win one more Super Bowl.

Some think that the Patriots could even use the franchise tag on Garoppolo in 2018 and not as a precursor to a trade.

Garoppolo could sign a deal at a big number for a backup that gives him incentives if he plays more. Garoppolo is represented by the same firm as Brady.

The Patriots have never considered anyone untouchable but it is believed that excludes Brady.