Just about everyone expects Watson to be suspended, possibly for a long time, not only because he has faced at least 24 civil lawsuits due to alleged sexual misconduct, but also because the league may have to send a message that it is trying to clean up its image and culture.
It’s bad enough that the Browns’ image has been stained by the Watson saga, but in a practical sense, they will have to figure out who will start under center while Watson isn’t allowed to play.
In all likelihood, it will be Jacoby Brissett, the team’s current QB2, who will take Watson’s place during his likely suspension.
But should the Browns really settle for him keeping Watson’s seat warm?
“Some have suggested that the Browns should trade for Jimmy Garoppolo,” Flores wrote for NBC Sports. “That will be far easier said than done. Garoppolo is due to make $25 million this year. The Browns already have surrendered significant assets for Watson. It would be difficult for the Browns to give up more picks for the privilege of paying Garoppolo $25 million.
“A three-way trade could make sense, with the Browns sending Baker Mayfield to the [Carolina] Panthers, the Panthers sending a draft pick or two to the 49ers, and the 49ers sending Garoppolo to Cleveland. But the question of paying Mayfield’s $18.8 million guaranteed salary continues to complicate any such conversations.”
If the Browns are serious about making the NFL playoffs one way or another this season, they should at least kick the tires on a Garoppolo trade.
Jimmy G Could Get The Job Done
Garoppolo may not be an elite quarterback, but he is a very good one, and his track record is pretty solid.
His downsides are that he is injury-prone and not an accurate deep ball threat, and he is somewhat prone to throwing interceptions.
However, over the last several years, he has revitalized a 49ers franchise that was dismantled following the 2014 season.
Garoppolo was traded to San Francisco during the 2017 season by the New England Patriots, and he quickly remade the Niners into a winner.
In 2019, just his second full season with the team, he led it to a 13-3 record and a spot in the Super Bowl, where it was in position to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs.
After an injury-riddled 2020 campaign, Garoppolo and the Niners fought past this past season, making it to the NFC Championship Game and leading late before bowing out to the eventual world champion Los Angeles Rams.
In 46 games with San Francisco, Garoppolo has a solid completion percentage of 67.7 and a passer rating of 98.3.
Jimmy Garoppolo to George Kittle for the Touchdown!#FTTB
2020 Week 6 SNF Rams vs 49ers pic.twitter.com/bMemdZzDKx
— 49ers Throwback ❤💛 (@49ers_Throwback) June 21, 2022
After needing shoulder surgery several months ago, he has been cleared to resume football activities, which means that after months of trade rumors, the 49ers may look to trade him in order to give the keys to Trey Lance.
Garoppolo would give the Browns a proven starter-quality QB who knows how to win games and can at least give them a shot of making the playoffs, even if Watson is kept out for the entire season.
In addition, unlike Mayfield, Garoppolo has the reputation of being a class act and a positive locker room influence.
Despite all the incessant rumors that San Francisco wants to move on from him and turn the team over to Lance, Garoppolo hasn’t complained publicly one bit, and there haven’t been any mumblings from teammates that he may be unhappy.
Pulling off a trade to acquire him may be tough for the Browns, but stranger things have happened.
If Deshaun Watson gets suspended, will CLE really start Jacoby Brissett? Or are they a mystery team in the Jimmy G sweepstakes?
— Chase Senior (@Chase_Senior) June 28, 2022