The Cleveland Browns are still in a bit of limbo as they await a final decision regarding Deshaun Watson‘s suspension. But if the Browns’ starter’s suspension is increased after the league’s appeal, Cleveland appears to have a contingency plan: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
According to a report from Browns reporter Mary Cay Cabot, Cleveland would consider acquiring Garoppolo, if Watson’s suspension is increased from the current six-game suspension he was initially given.
Earlier this month, Watson was given a six-game suspension in response to 24 sexual misconduct lawsuits. The NFL appealed that suspension, seeking a stronger punishment for the Cleveland quarterback. NFL commissioner Goodell said the league is seeking a suspension of at least a year for Watson, citing “egregious” and “predatory” behavior.
While Garoppolo is currently still with the 49ers, he is expected to be traded at some point before the start of the 2022 season. San Fransico even listed their former starter at No. 4 on their initial preseason depth chart behind Trey Lance, Nate Sudfeld, and Brock Purdy.
If the Browns do add Garoppolo, he would provide the team with a veteran presence while they await Watson’s reinstatement. In his 47 games as a starter, Garropolo has a 33-14 record and helped lead the Niners to the Super Bowl in 2020, where they fell to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Currently, the Browns are moving forward with veteran quarterback Jacoby Brissett as the team’s starter.