NFL analyst suggests trade between Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo
With training camp just weeks away, neither the Cleveland Browns nor the San Francisco 49ers have traded quarterbacks widely expected to play elsewhere in 2022.
Baker Mayfield’s relationship with the Browns organization disintegrated as they pursued Deshaun Watson, whom they eventually acquired and awarded a record contract. Meanwhile, the 49ers are likely to move from Jimmy Garoppolo to Trey Lance as the starting flagger.
There apparently isn’t a long line of suitors for either passer, leading one analyst to suggest a trade.
Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox offered to change the scenery for Mayfield and Garoppolo by having them switch places.
“San Francisco and Cleveland both have talented teams and should be in the championship if they stay healthy and can get steady quarterback play,” Knox wrote. “A Mayfield trade for Garoppolo would help ensure that every franchise has quarterback insurance while allowing the 49ers and Browns to leave players they no longer want.”
The idea makes sense for Cleveland, as Watson could still face a suspension for multiple allegations of sexual assault and harassment. If Mayfield doesn’t want to bury the hatchet, the Browns could use Jimmy G to replace Watson for part (or all) of 2022.
On the other hand, the 49ers probably won’t want to trade Garoppolo for another highly paid backup. However, Mayfield will earn $8.6 million less than the San Francisco incumbent. He is also three years younger.
Knox isn’t the only person to concoct a trade involving the two quarterbacks. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio suggested a deal that sent Garoppolo to the Browns, but his three-team proposal allowed the Carolina Panthers to acquire Mayfield while the 49ers get draft picks.
That idea might work better for San Francisco, but landing Jimmy G seems like a workable plan for Cleveland if Watson receives a lengthy suspension.