Jimmy Garoppolo could be on Cleveland Browns radar
The Cleveland Browns have three new quarterbacks but could be looking for one more should Deshaun Watson be suspended for a long period
Any day now, the Cleveland Browns could find out the status of Deshaun Watson for the 2022 season. The newly acquired quarterback recently had his disciplinary hearing with Judge Sue Robinson, who will likely announce her decision before Cleveland reports to training camp.
For the Browns, this could lead to them making another move. Mary Kay Cabot recently reported that they will be looking for another quarterback if Watson is suspended for a “lengthy period of time.”
While she says the idea would be to get a backup to Jacoby Brissett, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk suggests there could be another plan. His idea is that they could be posturing for Jimmy Garoppolo, but don’t want to do — or say — anything that will drive his price up.
"“Frankly, that may just be posturing by Cleveland. They won’t want to pay Garoppolo his full $25 million freight, and they won’t want to give the 49ers more than what the Browns got for Mayfield.”"
If Cleveland was truly looking for a backup to Brissett, it would mean they have little faith in Josh Dobbs, who they signed this offseason. The former Pittsburgh Steelers backup has thrown just 17 passes in his career, but has looked competent when he’s played in the preseason.
There might not be many other options available in free agency that could offer more than Dobbs, which gives credence to Florio’s idea that the Browns could be interested in Garoppolo as competition for Brissett.
The current San Francisco 49ers quarterback is being replaced by Trey Lance, and like Baker Mayfield with the Browns, there haven’t been very many suitors at all. Also like Mayfield, this could be due to the high price tag. Should San Francisco be willing to pay any of this, perhaps the Browns start to show more interest.
Adding Garoppolo at any price would surely leave the front office open to criticism since they’re already so heavily invested in the position. However, he would be a solid option as a one-year rental while they navigate the legal side of things with Watson.
As for the 49ers, they would have almost no motivation to play ball. They still don’t know what Lance can do in the NFL and as long as Garoppolo isn’t causing problems — and they’re not in salary cap trouble — it makes sense to keep both players.
In the end, if the Browns are going to add another quarterback, it will likely be another reserve as Mary Kay suggests.