Cleveland Browns: Is The Price Now Right For Jimmy Garoppolo?

With the Cleveland Browns rebuilding for the future, the price has reportedly become manageable for Jimmy Garoppolo — but is it right for them now?

The Cleveland Browns have been connected to hypothetical Jimmy Garoppolo trades for the entirety of the offseason. However, with the 2017 NFL Draft just a few days away, it seemed that most of that chatter had died down. In short, the New England Patriots’ price was too steep and the Browns weren’t willing to play ball. That might be changing, though.

On Sunday morning Pete Prisco of CBS Sports reported in a brief tweet that the No. 12 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and a second-round pick in 2018 would pry Garoppolo away from the Patriots. Prisco then followed that up when questioned by CBS Sports colleague Dane Brugler, saying that the reason a deal isn’t done yet at that price is because the teams are “playing poker.

First, it’s important to address the fact that this close to the draft is the time that smokescreens are in abundance, as are leaks with some sort of agenda behind them. Subsequently, there’s no guarantee that’s the exact price it’ll take to grab Garoppolo.

But operation under the supposition that it will require only those two picks, the Browns are now put in an interesting position. Considering that Cleveland might’ve already been in a position where they would need to trade up from No. 12 to get the guy they want, would it be in their better interest to instead trade the pick for Jimmy G?

That really all comes down to assessment of the quarterbacks in question. Do the Browns believe that Garoppolo has a better chance of being the franchise player they need at the position than the likes of Mitchell Trubisky or Patrick Mahomes? We’re not in their front office, so we can’t definitively know the answer to that question. However, knowing what we do about this draft class at quarterback, Garoppolo would appear to be the more enticing option.

What’s more, Garoppolo would also have a more immediate impact on the team. Whether it would be Trubisky, Mahomes or someone else, chances are that a rookie isn’t taking the reins of the Cleveland offense this season. That job likely belongs to Cody Kessler, or even Brock Osweiler. If they were to trade with the Patriots, though, that job then falls to Garoppolo.

There is always concern when it comes to trading with New England that complicates matters. Yes, the Browns seemingly will benefit from dealing with the Pats to get Jamie Collins. But in this particular situation, is Bill Belichick really trying to get value for Garoppolo before he leaves — or is he aware of something about the young player that others aren’t after seeing him in practice? That’s another aspect that the Browns will have to decipher.

For my money, though, the Browns have to make the trade if Prisco’s reported price is on the table. There’s no guarantee that any of their options are franchise players for the future. However, the chances that Garoppolo is that player are higher to me than to any of the others. What’s more, if they’re right in going in on Jimmy G, that actually increases the value of the trade as the team will improve immediately in 2017 and the second-round pick a year from now becomes less valuable.

A rebuilding process is a game of chess and the Browns have been protecting their king to this point. But at some point, you have to make a move in the interest of winning. Trading for Jimmy Garoppolo could be that move. Even better for them, though, they have enough draft capital to fall back on (and a loaded 2018 quarterback class) if that trade is ultimately fruitless.

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