Browns consider trading for Jimmy Garoppolo pending appeal against Deshaun Watson

The legends around Jimmy Garoppolo and Deshaun Watson ran their courses simultaneously during the low season of 2022. Events in the near future could cause them to become more intertwined than they already were.

Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports that the Browns “will consider acquiring Garoppolo” in the event that Watson’s suspension is “significantly increased”. The latter was given a six-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. That pretty much matched what the Browns expected, leading many to think they’d turn to backup Jacoby Brissett before the start of the season.

However, as expected, the league has appealed the suspension. Just as it did during Watson’s disciplinary hearing, the NFL will again push for a one-year suspension while also calling on candidate Peter Harvey. That process is expected to lead to a significant increase in the number of games for which Watson will not be available. With the Browns built for immediate playoffs, that would add to their urgency in acquiring a more proven signal-caller.

The possibility that Cleveland is trading for Garoppolo is not new, of course. Last month, however, it was reported that the Browns were not considering landing the veteran 49er. Garoppolo, 30, has one year left on his current contract with an unguaranteed salary of just over $24MM. That figure has sparked recent speculation that San Francisco will hold it for as long as possible to see if a significant trading market emerges in the coming weeks.

At that point, NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco confirms it’s “unlikely at this point” that a team would trade for Garoppolo without negotiating a new contract that cuts his 2022 cap. The only possible exception remains Cleveland; with nearly $49 million in cap space, the team was able to easily absorb Garoppolo’s contract and use him as a placeholder in Watson’s absence.

With the league looking to sideline Watson during the preseason, an announcement about the appeal could be coming very soon. Once that is the case, attention will once again be turned to the Browns’ QB plans and where Garoppolo could fit in.


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