Despite reports that the Patriots will not trade backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, the Browns would like to see if there’s a deal that could pry Garoppolo out of New England.
Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Browns’ “dream scenario” would be trading the 12th overall pick for Garoppolo after using the first overall pick on pass rusher Myles Garrett.
That, however, would probably not be enough for the Patriots to give up Garoppolo. They reportedly would want a first-round pick this year as well as a conditional pick that could be as good as another first-rounder in 2018. That might be more than the Browns are willing to deal.
But there’s more to the Garoppolo trade than just whether the Patriots and the Browns (or some other team) can agree on compensation. There’s also what Garoppolo wants to do. Publicly, Garoppolo is saying it’s out of his hands, but the reality is he can exert an enormous amount of influence over his future. If he wants to leave New England and go somewhere he can start, he could start speaking publicly about being unhappy as a backup. Bill Belichick doesn’t like having guys in the locker room who don’t buy into what the Patriots are doing, so if Garoppolo started making noises about wanting to leave, Belichick would likely move him. Conversely, if Garoppolo doesn’t want to go to Cleveland (or any other team), he can announce that he will not agree to a long-term contract extension with any team that trades for him without his consent. That wouldn’t prevent him from being traded, but it would make a trade unlikely, as teams don’t want to trade first-round picks for players who are going to leave in free agency a year later.
Until we know whether or not Garoppolo wants to play for the Browns, we can’t know how likely a trade is. But it sounds like a trade the Browns would like to make.