With Watson out momentarily following his violation of the league’s personal conduct policy, thoughts began to surface on who the Browns turn to next to offset Watson’s absence. And that’s where Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers come in.
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Is it still possible Jimmy G and the 49ers work out a deal to get the 49ers QB over to Cleveland? Or do the Browns stay with Jacoby Brissett (the likely No. 1 in Watson’s absence), Joshua Dobbs and Ex-49ers backup Josh Rosen? One Browns insider for ESPN Jake Trotter shared that thought on Monday morning.
However, one NFL insider shared this latest update on Garoppolo’s fate following the Watson ruling.
Browns Willing to Make a Move on Garoppolo?
The Athletic’s David Lombardi believes that the Browns “will likely stand pat” with their current lineup of quarterbacks, excluding Garoppolo.
“Six-game suspension for Deshaun Watson. If that stands, existing reporting has suggested that the Browns will likely stand pat with the QBs that they have for the time being (and not target someone else, like Jimmy Garoppolo),” Lombardi tweeted.
The existing report Lombardi refers to? That came on July 20 via Browns insider for the Cleveland Plain-Dealer Mary Kay Cabot.
“The Browns are still not expected to pursue a trade for Jimmy Garoppolo even with the uncertainty over Deshaun Watson’s suspension,” Cabot wrote. “The Browns never seriously considered trading for Garoppolo this offseason, even before Watson hit the trade market in March when a grand jury declined to indict him on criminal charges.”
However, 49ers play-by-play announcer Greg Papa had a different take following the July 20 report, dismissing the Browns denying interest.
“I would say right away, the Cleveland Browns do have interest in Jimmy Garoppolo, there’s no doubt,” Papa said on KNBR’s Papa & Lund show on KNBR radio. “They are just waiting for what’s going to happen to the guy they gave $230 million fully guaranteed to…I have great sources on this that the Browns have shown interest in Jimmy Garoppolo.”
What Garoppolo is Doing Now & Could he Play in Preseason Games
Garoppolo was last seen at 49ers training camp in Santa Clara on July 30 in what was hailed as a “surprise cameo,” but still drew loud applause from the fans in attendance for that practice.
Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News, though, said he had a “nice exchange” with Jimmy G as he ran off to the side.
“Just had a nice exchange with Jimmy Garoppolo after he ran on side at 49ers camp. He’s not practicing (while doing shoulder rehab and awaiting trade) but he’s still as upbeat and friendly as ever,” Inman tweeted on July 30, with Inman later sharing three words Garoppolo said to him:
“Enjoy training camp,” followed by a handshake.
Inman wasn’t the only one who had a brief chat with the veteran 30-year-old quarterback. So did NBC Sports Bay Area columnist Jennifer Lee Chan on that same practice day.
But with Jimmy G in the facility, could this mean he could suit up for preseason games and throw one more time? ESPN 49ers reporter Nick Wagoner doesn’t seem to believe so.
“There’s little reason to believe Garoppolo will practice or play for the Niners again,” Wagoner said. “Shanahan has said as much, and there are financial ramifications if Garoppolo suffers another injury. He’s scheduled to count $26.9 million against the 2022 salary cap with a $24.2 million base salary. None of that money is guaranteed, however.”
Wagoner then revealed the teams that he sees are potential landing spots at a reduced price (in both trade and financial compensation): The Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants and Houston Texans…not mentioning the Browns.