Kyle’s update, 10:30 AM PT: Browns GM Andrew Berry was asked if Jacoby Brissett will be his starting QB Thursday morning. He answered, “We have a lot of confidence in Jacoby,” but didn’t rule out adding to the position.
The NFL announced Thursday that Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson’s suspension had been upped to 11 games from six. Additionally, Watson must pay $5 million in settlement — 2% of his contract. Since this was agreed upon in a settlement, no appeal ruling and, presumably, no other legal action of any kind will take place. So, this is set in stone.
Watson returns the same week the Browns play the Texans, which tells you that this is part-theater to the NFL. This means Cleveland enters the season with a playoff roster surrounding Jacoby Brissett.
Jimmy Garoppolo won’t be on the 49ers roster come Sept. 1, when the team has to get under 53 men on its roster. That means Cleveland must decide within the next two weeks whether or not they want to roll the dice and trade for Jimmy or run the risk of another team signing the veteran QB if he’s released from the Niners.
Money isn’t an issue for the Browns. They have over $48 million in cap space. There doesn’t need to be any negotiating as far as asking the 49ers to pay a portion of Jimmy’s salary. So, in theory, the move makes plenty of sense for Cleveland.
Looking at it from a football perspective, Garoppolo is a clear upgrade over Brissett. Cleveland is a playoff team with Jimmy. They would struggle to get to .500 with Brissett under center.
The hold-up would be Garoppolo learning the offense in a month. Cleveland’s head coach Kevin Stefanski runs a similar scheme to Kyle Shanahan, as he worked under Shanahan. Stefanski would likely need Shanahan’s stamp of approval on Garoppolo’s character and work ethic.
If I’m Cleveland, it’s a no-brainer. Do you think they make the trade?