NOTE: Updated at 7:45 a.m.
The sporting world -- or at least that part of it that cares about the NFL -- was thrown into a frenzy at around 4 a.m. when Jimmy Garoppolo appeared to tell the world, via Instagram, that he'd been traded by the Patriots:
NOTE: The Instagram post has been deleted
No word as to where, and no word as for whom. But it did, as you can imagine, set off a firestorm of speculation among those who were awake.
But an hour-and-a-half later, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport threw cold water on it all:
Spoke to someone close to Jimmy Garoppolo who had no knowledge of any trade and believes it's a hack. Alas, it's 5:26 am now & we're all up— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 10, 2017
Then, during a 7 a.m. appearance on WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show, ESPN's Adam Schefter -- who has insisted throughout this free-agent season that Garoppolo won't be traded -- was more emphatic:
.@AdamSchefter says he got a text yesterday (from a Patriots source) "Does Cleveland know we're not trading Jimmy Garoppolo?"— Mut at Night (@MutAtNightWEEI) March 10, 2017
"If the Patriots trade Jimmy Garoppolo and Tom Brady gets injured they would be the Cleveland Browns" @AdamSchefter— Mut at Night (@MutAtNightWEEI) March 10, 2017
Moments later, our own Mike Giardi got the same info from his own sources:
Told (like half dozen others) that the Jimmy G intagram post was a straight up hack.— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) March 10, 2017
With a cavaet:
Not saying I'm necessarily buying it. Just reporting what I was told https://t.co/gx6xxvwHAo— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) March 10, 2017
Even so, it's looking more and more like there's nothing to it.
But it sure was interesting for a bit.