By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) -- As if it weren't already silly season in the NFL, we've now got this: Photographic evidence of Bill Belichick chatting with 49ers GM John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan at Alabama's pro day on Tuesday.
The images hit the internet on Tuesday around midday, and they show a casual-looking Belichick enjoying what seems to be a pleasant chat with Lynch. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is standing nearby as well.
Belichick always enjoys making a stop in Tuscaloosa during his pro day circuit, and he also has a cordial relationship with Lynch. Given his good relationship with Mike Shanahan, Belichick has always held Kyle in a high regard as well. So this confluence of events is not particularly surprising and isn't really noteworthy.
But ... well ... with all of the noise and rumors and speculation swirling right now about a certain quarterback named Jimmy Garoppolo, any and every instance of Belichick and Lynch being in the same room is certain to get analyzed and dissected and broken down from every possible angle.
So in this case, even though Belichick and Lynch are likely just exchanging pleasantries and catching up on offseason fun, the internet will surely insert some talk bubbles over Belichick's and Lynch's heads as they hammer out the details on a trade for Jimmy G.
The Niners are rumored to have their eye on quarterback Mac Jones, so Tuesday could be a significant day on that front, after San Francisco traded up to nab the No. 3 overall pick in next month's draft. If the team does lock in on Jones in the coming weeks, then it would have to seriously listen to offers for Garoppolo, who likely would not be particularly enthused to start the 2021 season with his replacement breathing down his neck. The 49ers might not be overly excited to pay $26 million to a backup-in-waiting, too.
For now, nothing is happening. But when things do happen in the NFL, remember this: they always start with a conversation.
Consider this internet speculation fire to be ... stoked.
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