Jimmy Garoppolo-to-Browns trade speculation varies in latest reports

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Jimmy G-to-Browns speculation varies in latest reports originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Will they or won’t they?

That has been the question surrounding the Cleveland Browns regarding a potential trade for beleaguered 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

And recent conflicting reports from both NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Cleveland.com Browns writer Mary Kay Cabot only add to the uncertainty.

The question of a Browns trade for Garoppolo hinges on the outcome of the NFL’s appeal of Deshaun Watson’s six-game suspension, Cabot reported Thursday, citing league sources, with Commissioner Roger Goodell seeking a minimum year-long ban.

During an interview with KNBR’s “Tolbert & Copes” on Monday, Cabot explained exactly how long Watson’s suspension would need to be for the Browns to trade for Garoppolo.

“I would say they would at least have to consider it for double digits,” Cabot said on KNBR. “Twelve games, 14 games or something like that, they would have to give it some thought. I don’t think it’s front burner, but I think it’s a conversation that they would at least have to have.”

But even if the Browns did acquire Garoppolo, Cabot explained, there’s no guarantee he would immediately be the starter.

“... I think they are really committed to Jacoby Brissett,” Cabot said. “I think they believe that he can get the job done, and I don’t even know for sure if they did bring in Jimmy or consider bringing in Jimmy if it would 100 percent be to be the No. 1 right away.

“If they found a way to bring him in at a reasonable price, perhaps there would be some sort of competition or whatever.”

Cabot’s input on KNBR aligns with her recent reporting that while the Browns might not end up trading for Garoppolo, it’s something they’ll need to keep in the back of their mind until Watson’s punishment is finalized.

But based on what Rapoport has heard, most reports on the potential trade as of late hold no weight thanks to Garoppolo’s staggering salary and an overall lack of interest from the Browns.

“To answer your question about Jimmy G and the Browns, I’ve seen some reports,” Rapoport said on the “Pat McAfee Show” (h/t 49ers Webzone). “I just don’t get the sense that the Browns are that interested. I just don’t. I mean, they signed Jacoby Brissett for a reason. If they trade for Jimmy G, it’s twenty-plus more million dollars.

“Not that money is the biggest concern, but I checked with everyone. Maybe something will surprise me. I just do not get the sense that there’s that much interest in him.”

RELATED: Report: Jimmy doesn’t own 49ers playbook, nor attend meetings

While Cabot and Rapoport align in their reports of the Browns’ fondness for Brissett, it remains to be seen how high they are on actually trading for Garoppolo. And with the New York Jets seemingly out of the picture following Zach Wilson’s optimistic prognosis, the 49ers’ trade options continue to dwindle.

But circumstances can change at the drop of a hat -- or the announcement of a major suspension.

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