Proposed Browns Trade Swaps Baker Mayfield for $137 Million QB

Baker Mayfield

Getty Images Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns.

The Cleveland Browns have some tough decisions to make at the quarterback position and a noted insider believes they could kill two birds with one stone by shipping out Baker Mayfield.

The Browns are awaiting a decision on Deshaun Watson’s looming suspension, which could range from a few games to a full season — or more. If Watson is forced to sit out, the Browns would turn to Jacoby Brissett to be their starter, with Joshua Dobbs backing up.

Considering the Browns feel like their championship window is open right now with the talent that’s on the roster, would they be willing to roll with Brissett? ESPN’s Jake Trotter is not so sure and pitched that the Browns pursue displaced 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as a one-year stopgap as they figure out their Watson situation.

“If Watson is in fact suspended, look for offseason addition Joshua Dobbs to join the active roster,” Trotter wrote. “But while Cleveland could ride the bulk of the season with Brissett as its starter in the event of a Watson suspension, the Browns could also look for another quarterback trade — Baker Mayfield for Jimmy Garoppolo, anyone? — to help the team tread water while Watson is out.”

Much like Mayfield, Garoppolo is stuck in no-man’s land in San Francisco. The 49ers are moving ahead with former No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance at QB and have had trouble dealing Garoppolo after he had offseason surgery on his throwing shoulder.

Browns Have Backed Jacoby Brissett as Potential Starter

The Browns still have the most remaining cap space for next season at just over $42 million, so fitting Garoppolo and his $24.2 million salary in for a year wouldn’t be a problem if they felt like it was the right solution. However, the team would much rather use that money on positions of need, like at wide receiver and on the interior of the defensive line.

On top of that, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski has expressed support for Brissett as the team’s temporary starter.

“I do have confidence in Jacoby,” Stefanski said on June 14 at mandatory minicamp “He has played a lot of football for a young player. He is a smart player. He takes care of the football. Good size, can make all of the throws and those type of things. He has been in multiple offenses. Our offense is a little bit different than what he has done previously but has a really, really good understanding of football – football intelligence that is – so I just think he is a really good operator.”

Brissett, 29, has put up 7,742 yards, 36 touchdowns and 17 interceptions over his career. He’s 14-23 as a starter in the NFL, albeit he’s been placed in some tough situations.

Deshaun Watson Ruling From NFL Expected Soon

The Watson situation has been ever-evolving for the Browns but had a significant development when the QB reached confidential settlements in 20 of the 24 civil suits he’s facing for sexual misconduct during massages.

The Browns are expected to get a verdict from the league on a Watson suspension soon, per Mary Kay Cabot of, who also noted that Watson attending counseling could play a factor in the length of the ban.

“If the league sees enough effort and willingness from Watson, it could be a mitigating factor in his discipline, which could be handed down in the next week or two,” Cabot wrote. “According to the collectively bargained Personal Conduct Policy, the NFL will take into account a player’s actions in the aftermath of the alleged wrongdoing.”

The Browns inked Watson to a record-setting $230 million contract after acquiring him via a blockbuster trade this offseason.

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