The Cleveland Browns have some tough quarterback decisions to make, and a well-known insider believes they could kill two birds with one stone by delivering Baker Mayfield.
The Browns are awaiting a decision on Deshaun Watson’s impending 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 their championship window is just open with the talent that’s on the list, would they be ready to roll with Brissett? ESPN’s Jake Trotter isn’t so sure, convinced the Browns are pursuing evicted 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as a year-round stopgap while they figure out their Watson predicament.
“If Watson is indeed suspended, look for Joshua Dobbs to join the active squad off-season,” Trotter wrote. “But while Cleveland could start most of the season with Brissett in the event of Watson’s suspension, the Browns could also be looking for another quarterback trade — Baker Mayfield for Jimmy Garoppolo, anyone? – to help the team tread water while Watson is away.”
Much like Mayfield, Garoppolo is stuck in the no man’s land of San Francisco. The 49ers continue with former No. 3 overall winner Trey Lance in QB and struggled with Garoppolo after he underwent off-season surgery on his throwing shoulder.
The Browns still have the largest remaining cap spot for next season at just over $42 million, so budgeting for Garoppolo and his $24.2 million salary a year wouldn’t be a problem if they felt that this would be the right solution. However, the team would much rather use this money for needed positions, e.g. B. as a wide receiver and inside the defensive line.
Additionally, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski has expressed his support for Brissett as the team’s temporary starter.
“I have faith in Jacoby,” said Stefanski on June 14 at the mandatory mini camp. “He played a lot of football for a young player. He’s a smart player. He takes care of football. Good size, can do all casts and things like that. He was repeatedly delinquent. Our offense is a bit different than what he’s done before, but he has a really, really good understanding of football – football intelligence – so I just think he’s a really good operator.
Brissett, 29, has rushed for 7,742 yards, 36 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in his career. He’s 14-23 as a starter in the NFL, though he’s found himself in some sticky situations.
The Watson situation has continued to evolve for the Browns, but had a significant development when the QB reached confidential settlements in 20 of the 24 civil lawsuits he faces alleging sexual misconduct during massages.
The Browns are expected to soon receive a league ruling on a Watson suspension, according to Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot, who also noted that Watson’s participation in the deliberation could be 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 that could be passed on over the next week or two,” Cabot wrote. “Pursuant to the collectively negotiated Personal Conduct Policy, the NFL will consider a player’s actions following the alleged misconduct.”
The Browns have signed Watson to a record-breaking $230 million contract after acquiring him via a blockbuster trade this offseason.