After their dramatic Week 1 win over the Carolina Panthers, the Cleveland Browns and their fans were overcome by an emotion they haven’t experienced much: optimism.
But after blowing a 13-point lead in the final two minutes of their Week 2 contest against the New York Jets, they’re back to that familiar place of figuring out how to bounce back from adversity.
Some of the attention and blame for Cleveland’s loss has been focused on quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who threw an interception with six seconds left and the team trailing by just one point.
Awesome view of the game-sealing INT.
Robert Saleh mentioned postgame Ashtyn Davis did a great job reading Jacoby Brissett's eyes and you can see it here. pic.twitter.com/qB7AFuTB0W
— Ethan Greenberg (@EGreenbergJets) September 19, 2022
It has surely made some fans think: If only Jimmy Garoppolo had joined the Browns, maybe they’d be 2-0.
According to an ESPN article On Tuesday, the Browns, despite what some reports said at the time, had genuine interest in signing Garoppolo during the preseason.
“Quarterback-deficient teams that balked after his surgery now held off in the belief the [San Francisco] 49ers would release Garoppolo and make a trade unnecessary,” wrote Tim Keown and Nick Wagoner. “A source close to Garoppolo says Cleveland was “absolutely” expected to show interest the second Garoppolo was released.”
Of course, the 49ers decided to hold on to Garoppolo, which surprised plenty of observers, and now that Trey Lance, their starting quarterback, is presumably out for the season with a severe ankle injury, there is absolutely no chance Garoppolo will end the season with another team.
The Browns Probably Blew A Great Opportunity
For much of the offseason, the 49ers were reportedly looking to trade Garoppolo, and multiple teams, including the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Commanders, were reportedly vying for his services.
But after he had shoulder surgery several months ago and wasn’t able to participate in football activities until earlier this summer, it seemed some teams weren’t sure if they should give up capital for him.
Once new Browns QB Deshaun Watson was suspended for his alleged sexual misconduct incidents, it was reported Cleveland may go after Garoppolo, although they were also other reports that claimed the opposite.
In addition to his physical condition earlier this summer, another holdup on a potential Garoppolo trade may have been his contract, which would’ve paid him a hefty salary this season before the Niners restructured it to keep him in California.
It may have been a risk the Browns should’ve taken.
Garoppolo is a proven game-manager, and even though he isn’t an elite QB, he’s a very good one who has proven he will win lots of games and give his team a shot at the ultimate prize in the playoffs.
— Coach Yac 🗣 (@Coach_Yac) September 18, 2022
In San Francisco, head coach Kyle Shanahan utilizes a run-heavy offense, which could’ve made Garoppolo an easier fit for a Browns team that jams the ball down the middle in the hands of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
It’s hard to imagine Garoppolo throwing the interception Brissett threw at the end of Sunday’s game, and even if wouldn’t have gotten the Browns into field goal range with time remaining, at least he wouldn’t have deserved any blame for such a loss.