With just days to go before the official start of training camp, the Cleveland Browns are still awaiting the NFL’s decision on any discipline new quarterback Deshaun Watson may face due to his sexual misconduct allegations.
If Watson is suspended, as most expect, the Browns will have to make do with Jacoby Brissett filling in as their QB1, and no disrespect to him, but he simply doesn’t seem skilled or talented enough to keep the Browns’ playoff hopes alive if Watson faces an extended suspension.
With Baker Mayfield now playing for the Carolina Panthers, the one player who is rumored as a possible solution has been Jimmy Garoppolo, the veteran starting QB for the San Francisco 49ers.
Now that he has been cleared to resume football activities following shoulder surgery, the 49ers have allowed him to formally seek a trade, but the Browns reportedly won’t be in the mix for him.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) July 20, 2022
Across social media, fans don’t seem happy with the news, and they have felt Garoppolo would be a good option for the Browns all along.
Honestly, the #Browns potentially trading for Jimmy G SHOULD have been the move they made at QB all along, rather than signing up for the Deshaun Watson nightmare. Garoppolo feels like a great fit in Kevin Stefanski’s system.
— Josh Carney (@ByJoshCarney) July 20, 2022
The #Browns should just flip the fifth-rounder they got from Carolina for Jimmy Garoppolo.
— Shaun Chornobroff (@SChornobroff) July 20, 2022
— Dibs (@reelFDibs) July 20, 2022
— Stephen (@49erAudibles) July 7, 2022
#Browns could effectively add Jimmy Garoppolo on a 1yr/$16.5mil free agent deal now.
— PJ Moran (@Real_Peej) July 6, 2022
Garoppolo Is The Type Of Proven Option The Browns Could Use
Overall, the Haslams and Andrew Berry have built a roster that looks playoff-caliber, at least on paper, and perhaps an argument could be made that it is the best roster in the AFC North, especially if the Cincinnati Bengals suffer a letdown or regression after getting to the Super Bowl.
If Cleveland simply receives reliable play from the QB position in Watson’s probable absence, it can return to the playoffs, especially if his suspension will only last part of the season.
Garoppolo has taken the 49ers to the NFC Championship game twice in the last three years, and in 2020, he took them to the Super Bowl, where they held a late lead over Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Although some have accused him of being a sub-par QB, his numbers have been very solid, as he has posted a passer rating of at least 90.0 in each of his five seasons as the starter in San Francisco and at least 96.2 three times in that span.
In 2021, he registered 3,810 yards and 20 touchdowns, and he put up 3,978 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2019, the year the Niners went to the Super Bowl.
The two negatives with Garoppolo are his injury history, which is somewhat extensive, and his tendency to throw interceptions.
However, the Browns would be hard-pressed to find a better option to fill in for Watson, especially since many feel the Niners are determined to move on from Garoppolo and hand the keys to Trey Lance.
Garoppolo May Be A Good Fit For The Browns
In San Francisco, Garoppolo has played in an offense that runs the football a lot, and head coach Kyle Shanahan has utilized multiple running backs in a scheme that doesn’t employ much of a vertical game.
The Browns are also a run-heavy team that leans on the talents of running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
Given the way head coach Kevin Stefanski wants to play, Garoppolo could possibly fit in well with the Browns without too much of an adjustment.
It should also be noted that Garoppolo and current Browns QB2 Jacoby Brissett were teammates together on the New England Patriots in 2016, and while Garoppolo filled in for the suspended Tom Brady, Brissett was his backup.