Trade looks unlikely for 49ers’ Garoppolo after Baker Mayfield trade

For the 49ers, trading away Jimmy Garoppolo has been a main objective during this offseason. But that process just got a whole lot more complicated.

on Wednesday, news broke That the Cleveland Browns are shipping away quarterback Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a 2024 conditional fifth-round pick. The two teams will reportedly split Mayfield’s 2022 salary.

At the beginning of the offseason, the 49ers were hopeful they could trade Garoppolo in return for a handful of assets. But the quarterback underwent surgery on his throwing shoulder in March, much to the surprise of the team, putting trade talks on hold. At the time, the shortlist for potential Garoppolo suitors included the Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers.

As the offseason progressed, Indianapolis, Denver and Pittsburgh addressed their uncertainty at QB through trades and draft picks. With the Mayfield move, Carolina has removed itself from the list as well. This now leaves Cleveland, which is in a tricky position of their own.

Before trading Mayfield, the Browns acquired Deshaun Watson from the Texans. However, whether or not Watson will see the field for Cleveland remains to be seen. The quarterback was the subject of 24 civil lawsuits alleging sexual harrassment and assault, 20 of which are now settled. Even if Watson clears the courts, he may face discipline from the NFL.

Reports indicate that the NFL could very well hand Watson a one-year suspension, meaning that Cleveland would still be in the running for a new quarterback. Prior to the Mayfield trade, ESPN’s Adam Schefter viewed Cleveland as a landing spot for Garoppolo.

“Let’s see what happens in Cleveland,” Schefter said two weeks ago on “NFL Live.” “Let’s see if Deshaun Watson is out for the year, how long he’s gone. Would Cleveland want another quarterback?… There are some quarterback spots to watch, and I think these are the two quarterbacks here — Jimmy Garoppolo and Baker Mayfield — to watch and track as camps get underway.”

With Mayfield out of the equation, it seems that Garoppolo is among the best remaining options for Cleveland. However, Wednesday’s trade provides another hurdle in finding Jimmy G’s next destination. Because the Browns and Panthers are splitting Mayfield’s 2022 salary, Cleveland will owe $10.5 million to Mayfield in addition to $10 million to Watson. Trading for Garoppolo would mean the Browns would take a $25.5 million cap hit, a total that hurts the chance of a trade occurring.

Now that Carolina is gone from the quarterback carousel, the 49ers’ chances of trading Garoppolo look a lot slimmer. Unless they find a suitor, the most likely scenario at this point sees the team releasing their former starting quarterback outright.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.