Browns Have QB Trade Target in Mind if Deshaun Watson Suspension Increases

Devon Platana
The Cleveland Browns already have a quarterback trade target in mind if Deshaun Watson's suspension increases.
The Cleveland Browns already have a quarterback trade target in mind if Deshaun Watson's suspension increases. / (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

The Cleveland Browns went all in on quarterback Deshaun Watson this offseason, but there's no telling when he'll play in the regular season. While an independent arbitrator awarded Watson a six-game suspension last week, the NFL soon filed an appeal to increase the punishment's length.

Regardless of how much time Watson will miss, the Browns have a clear-cut plan moving forward. Team insider Mary Kay Cabot reports that if Watson is suspended for over six games, the organization will target disgruntled San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo.

Browns Roster Rumors

It isn't surprising to hear that the Browns hope to upgrade current backup QB Jacoby Brissett. While he has 37 starts of NFL experience, he looked pedestrian with the Miami Dolphins last year, racking up 1,283 passing yards and five touchdowns to four interceptions in 11 games (five starts).

Meanwhile, Garoppolo has led the 49ers to two NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl within the last three seasons. Is he an elite arm? No, but he knows how to win games in a run-heavy offense. The oft-injured 30-year-old has gone 31-14 in 45 starts with San Francisco.

Spotrac lists the Browns as having just over $46.3 million in cap space, so Garoppolo's $26.95 million isn't a cause for concern. Nevertheless, Cabot points out that Jimmy G's money isn't fully guaranteed until Sept. 10, meaning the Browns "could sign him to a new deal with a substantial signing bonus and lower base."

If the Browns want Garoppolo, they should act fast. NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported over the weekend that the 49ers "are willing to wait until cut-down day" to get the most value possible in a deal. If Garoppolo ends up being bought out, there's no doubt that Cleveland will face more competition for his services.

In the meantime, the Browns will likely stand pat until they hear any updates regarding Watson's suspension. With how long it took for the league to announce his initial suspension, it remains to be seen how long the appeal case will last.

Browns Super Bowl Odds

FanDuel Sportsbook currently has the Browns available at +2400 odds to win Super Bowl LVII. Those odds ranked 13th-best across the NFL, but losing Watson for more than six games and failing to acquire Garoppolo could have negative effects on Cleveland's championship aspirations.

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Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Devon Platana also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username PepeSilvia0. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.