Browns may consider pursuit of Jimmy Garoppolo if Deshaun Watson suspension increases

The Browns appeared steadfast in their commitment to Jacoby Brissett while Deshaun Watson is suspended, but that could end up being questioned.

As the NFL’s appeal against Sue L. Robinson’s six-game ban on Watson continues, the Browns could begin to explore other quarterback options should the ban be extended.

According to Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot, one of those options could be 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who is still being bought by the team as it begins transitioning to Trey Lance. Cabot reports if Watson’s suspension is extended, the Browns could pursue a deal with Garoppolo.

The NFL is reportedly seeking a one-year suspension (at least) for Watson.

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For his part, Garoppolo will have surgery in March to repair a ruptured capsule in his throwing shoulder. Although Garoppolo’s price tag is steep, he would bring a veteran presence and the Browns have the cash to throw around, especially given the structure of Watson’s contract, which will only see him earn $1 million this season.

Watson is reportedly scheduled to start in her first preseason game for the Browns on Friday, assuming Peter C. Harvey’s decision doesn’t come first.

Jacoby Brissett vs. Jimmy Garoppolo stats

While Brissett is an established journeyman, he has confessed to “breaking in an emergency” behind glass throughout his career.

Brissett started twice last year for the Colts (once when Andrew Luck was injured and once after he retired) and for the Dolphins.

Garoppolo, on the other hand, was adopted by the 49ers as their “type.” While the numbers weren’t bad, the Niners didn’t get the results they were hoping for from him and decided to move on after last season.

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This is how the two line up.

player RECORDING COM/ATT COM% YDS TD’s INT’s RTG
Jimmy Garoppolo 33-14 960/1,418 67.7% 11,852 71 38 98.9
Jacoby Brissett 14-23 727/1.208 60.2% 7,742 36 17 83.0

Garoppolo tends to do better, but he’s also been surrounded by better talent in general. Either way, if the trade market is thin enough for him, it makes sense that Cleveland would consider landing him.

While Brissett was signed a week after the Browns traded Watson (thus estranging Baker Mayfield), the Browns likely didn’t consider him an option to start for an entire season. Now that it’s on the table, they have a choice to make.

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