Let’s be honest: the Cleveland Browns have been a joke for a long time.
A lack of talent on the field and in the front office have marred what used to be a proud franchise and fanbase.
In an effort to alter the path of their downward spiral, Cleveland has a ton of cap room to play with and has already been active in both the free agent and trade markets in the new NFL year.
Despite making a jaw-dropping trade with the Houston Texans for Brock Osweiler, the Browns are reportedly still looking for their franchise-altering quarterback.
The Robert Griffin III experiment might be over.
Since they also received a 2018 second-round pick from the Texans in the Osweiler deal, the thought is that they might use that to their advantage in the trade market.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport believes that the Browns might try to leverage that pick to help land New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
While there’s a small chance that the Browns hold onto Osweiler, it’s been reported that they’re actively shopping him right now.
They’ll even pay up to half of his salary to get rid of him.
That’s not a good look for the former Super Bowl winner.
While the thought of being an NFL starter would likely excite Garoppolo and the Patriots would likely be able to land a first-round pick for him, New England’s asking price might be unrealistic.
Per Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot, the Patriots might desire the Browns’ No. 1 overall pick in return.
Since Garoppolo made just two regular-season starts during his three years in the league, that might be a steep price to pay.
It’s worth noting that the Browns also own the No. 12 pick in the upcoming draft. That might be the more realistic exchange, especially since Garoppolo is entering the final year of his rookie deal, set to potentially earn more than Mike Glennon-type money next offseason.
Since Tom Brady has stated multiple times that he hopes to continue playing well into his 40s, holding onto Garoppolo past the 2017 season (and paying him like a starter) will not be part of New England's plans unless they plan on holding onto him as an insurance policy in case Brady gets hurt.
Therefore, the very real possibility of a one-and-done season exists, even if Garoppolo emerges as a star in Cleveland.
However, in a quarterback-driven league, landing someone with presumed star potential under the tutelage of Tom Brady might be enticing, even if it means gambling away a No. 1 pick.
We will see what happens and watch eagerly as the Browns make crucial decisions about the direction of their franchise. Bill Belichick will get the most that he possibly can, as he has all of the control in the current situation.
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