The Cleveland Browns are preparing to not have quarterback Deshaun Watson for a chunk of the 2022 season. After not being able to come to an agreement during negotiations, Watson was handed a six-game suspension by an arbitrator. However, the NFL did not believe that punishment was enough as they appealed the six-game suspension.
The NFL was pushing for an indefinite suspension that would cost Watson at least the 2022 season and a hefty fine. They didn’t come close to that, which is why they appealed the six-game suspension.
That has put the attention squarely on Jacoby Brissett, who has already been named the starter for as long as Watson is suspended. On the depth chart behind him, the Browns have Joshua Dobbs and Josh Rosen.
If Cleveland is no longer confident in their current quarterback room, especially if Watson is suspended longer than anticipated, they could look to make an acquisition from outside the organization. One player that Mike Tannenbaum, a former front office member of the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, believes the Browns should target is Jimmy Garoppolo of the San Francisco 49ers.
Garoppolo has been on the trade block for months, but shoulder surgery is likely why he has not been moved yet. A market for him has not developed but San Francisco is ready to move on, as Trey Lance has already been named the starter for the 49ers.
The Browns are also one of the only teams that could fit Garoppolo’s contract on their salary cap for the 2022 season. An argument could be made that Garoppolo, who has led the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game twice, is an upgrade over Brissett.
Cleveland fell short of expectations during the 2021 season and is looking to get back on track this upcoming season. Whoever is under center to begin the season just has to keep the team afloat until Watson is back on the field following his suspension.