Cleveland Browns: Front office too smart to overspend on Garoppolo
The Cleveland Browns have plenty of cap space in 2017 and beyond, but the front office is too smart to invest in a backup quarterback like Jimmy Garoppolo.
The Cleveland Browns are not a franchise known for instilling confidence in its fans. Bad personnel moves have been a staple of the team since 1999, and every year fans hope that things will change.
2017 could be the year things finally do change, as the current group in the front office has taken a long-term approach to improving the Browns. This is in contrast to the short-term approaches that saw players like Dwayne Bowe, Donte Whitner, and Josh McCown be brought in past their primes to try to take the team to the playoffs. It just wasn’t possible.
The new approach involves a full rebuild of the roster, which began last season. A 1-15 season was not ideal, but it certainly shouldn’t have been unexpected.
Yet even while the whole roster needs improvement, all everyone can talk about is the quarterback position. And that makes sense, as the Browns have never had that franchise guy who fans know will open the next season, regardless of what the team’s record was the previous year.
A big name floating around is that of Jimmy Garoppolo, who has been linked to the Browns all offseason. His role as Tom Brady‘s backup in New England has inflated his value, even though he only made it through six quarters as a starter this season when Brady was suspended.
While Garoppolo is still on the final year of his rookie deal, a trade for him may cost a first-round pick. That itself should be an automatic no for the Browns. But let’s say it only takes a second-round pick, and the Browns get him.
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He would only be here for one season before he would ask for a major contract, which should also be another automatic no. The Browns cannot afford to overspend on a player who is unproven, just because his value is inflated in the market.
This would be a disaster, but it doesn’t seem like this front office would ever consider such a thing. The strategy seems to be building through the draft, and potentially acquiring some proven free agents to come in and help the team. That could even mean signing players like Kirk Cousins or Tyrod Taylor, as they have legitimate starting experience. But it does not mean the front office will take a gamble on a project player, as the Houston Texans did with Brock Osweiler.
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The fact the front office passed on Carson Wentz last year shows that they are not impatient when it comes to finding a quarterback they like, and at the right price. And while Garoppolo would come cheap in 2017, he would demand major money in 2018 and beyond. That just isn’t feasible, and this front office seems smart enough to realize that.