A few weeks into training camp, no one still knows exactly how many games Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will be suspended for.
Independent arbitrator Sue Robinson, a retired federal judge, issued a six-game suspension, but the NFL has appealed that decision, and it is believed it wants Watson suspended for at least the entire season.
The Browns seem content to go into the regular season with Jacoby Brissett filling in under center, despite the rumors and suggestions that they go after former San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
Days ago, there was a report that they would consider trading for him if Watson’s suspension is lengthened, but NFL insider Ian Rapoport doesn’t see it happening.
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) August 15, 2022
“To answer your question about Jimmy G and the Browns, I’ve seen some reports,” Rapoport said. “I just don’t get the sense that the Browns are that interested. I just don’t. I mean, they signed Jacoby Brissett for a reason. If they trade for Jimmy G, it’s 20-plus more million dollars.
“Not that money is the biggest concern, but I checked with everyone. Maybe something will surprise me. I just do not get the sense that there’s that much interest in him.”
Garoppolo Could Be Just The Man To Keep The Browns In The Playoff Hunt
The ongoing Watson saga has been very ugly for the Browns and the entire league, and it has seemingly split the fanbase in two.
It would behoove the team to do something to eventually make fans at least somewhat forget about the 24 lawsuits that have been filed against Watson by female massage therapists.
Garoppolo is a steady, above-average QB who has taken the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game twice and the Super Bowl once in the last three seasons.
During that span, he has posted a 68.5 percent completion rate, a 99.4 passer rating and a 25-12 record.
Garoppolo may be injury-prone and a bit interception-prone, but he would be a big upgrade over Brissett.
Also, Garoppolo has been playing in a run-heavy offense under head coach Kyle Shanahan, which would make for a relatively easy transition to Kevin Stefanski’s scheme.
In addition, the signal-caller is a class act and has the type of poise and leadership skills that previous Browns QB Baker Mayfield hasn’t developed yet.
With Garoppolo, the Browns could enjoy stability under center no matter what happens with Watson, therefore giving them a real shot at the playoffs this season.
The Illinois native has one year remaining on his contract, and it could also be an opportunity for him to solidify his value without Trey Lance breathing down his neck.
If the Browns aren’t interested in Garoppolo, as Rapoport suggested, there may be a real reason why.
They reportedly would want the Niners to be responsible for some of his $24.2 million salary this upcoming season.
Report: #Browns brass are expecting a full season suspension for Deshaun Watson. Now strongly considering a potential trade for QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
— 49ers & NFL News 24/7 (@49ersSportsTalk) August 14, 2022
“Talked to someone familiar with CLE who said: ‘Browns wants the #49ers to pick up part of Jimmy’s salary in any trade scenario,’” the tweet reported.
This was the exact same issue that made it hard for Cleveland to trade Mayfield until it finally came to an agreement with the Carolina Panthers.
Reportedly, the Niners would be willing to pay part of Garoppolo’s salary, but only if they are reimbursed with a first-round draft pick or a useful player.
It is hard to see the Browns giving up a high draft pick for one year of Garoppolo, only to see him leave next year in free agency.