The San Francisco 49ers have to figure out their quarterback situation, and one name that fans have regularly mentioned is Jimmy Garoppolo. The New England Patriots backup quarterback is signed through 2017 on his rookie contract, and there has been all sorts of speculation that the Patriots will trade him like they did with Matt Cassel.
Former Patriots and Browns executive Michael Lombardi has officially made his thoughts clear on the subject of Garoppolo. He recently made an appearance on FOX Sports 1 where he said he expected the Browns to, “go hard after [Garoppolo].”
The hosts of the show brought up his two career starts. Lombardi offered up this reasoning for a potential deal:
“Right, two career starts, Jared Goff had zero, Carson Wentz had zero either and they went for multiple draft picks. And I think Cleveland has tremendous assets, in terms of draft picks, so that would be enticing. You’re going to have to use those draft picks on a player and if you can get a starting quarterback that can play in cold weather, who can do a lot of things that Hue Jackson likes to do, I mean, do you want to give up all your assets, or do you want to go after A.J. McCarron, who is his [Jackson’s] back-up in Cincinnati? I think you’re better off going after Garoppolo and getting the better player.”
Lombardi has worked for several teams, but it is most notable that he worked for both the Patriots and the Browns. He and Bill Belichick are close. I don’t think Belichick is on the phone with him telling him all the details about a Garoppolo deal, but it at least raises some curiosity about it.
If Garoppolo does get dealt, there could be a handful of teams competing for his services. The Browns and 49ers both have quarterback questions, and they are joined by the Jets and Bears. The Cardinals don’t have a long-term answer behind Carson Palmer, although Tony Romo is a guy some people think ends up there. The Broncos might be able to bridge Trevor Siemian to Paxton Lynch, but who really knows. Even less likely would be the Jaguars who might have hit a road block with Blake Bortles, and the Vikings who could have Teddy Bridgewater by the start of next season, but still have to wait and see how his knee recovers.