Trading Jimmy Garoppolo to the Cleveland Browns isn’t the most viable possibility for the 49ers, but it might make the most sense.
With Deshaun Watson potentially facing a suspension for at least the entirety of the 2022 season and the Browns' relationship with Baker Mayfield irreconcilable, Jacoby Brissett is the last QB remaining on the roster and very well could end up as QB1.
There are three teams at the top of the list when it comes to needing a quarterback: the Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks and the Browns. Garoppolo being traded to the AFC North could be the best scenario for all involved.
The Browns could be an attractive landing spot for the 49ers' quarterback, given the level of talent on the roster that includes wide receiver Amari Cooper, running back Nick Chubb and defensive end Myles Garrett, to name a few. In comparison, the Panthers and Seahawks seem to be in rebuilding phases.
There are, however, a few roadblocks that would keep a trade between the 49ers and Browns from going forward with an agreement.
The 49ers are looking to recoup draft capital in a trade for Garoppolo and the Browns have very little. After trading multiple picks to the Houston Texans, there isn’t much the team can offer the 49ers in exchange for their veteran quarterback.
The Browns also already have both Watson and Mayfield on the books, and both are owed high salaries. Mayfield’s $18 million guaranteed is an inhibitor, especially when looking at Garoppolo’s $25 million price tag.
The only way the scenario could take place is if the Browns can procure a trade partner for Mayfield that involves draft picks, potentially with the Panthers or Seahawks. Equipped with more room towards the salary cap and a reasonable draft pick, Garoppolo could be moved.
Until that happens, however, Garoppolo, the 49ers and the Browns will all patiently wait for the chips to fall.