Apologies in advance: Some of you Browns fans are not going to like this bit of news from ESPN's Adam Schefter as we approach the NFL's trading deadline on Tuesday at 4:00 P.M.
This is a stunning development.
Garoppolo, 25, was seemingly being groomed to be Tom Brady's eventual replacement for the Patriots. The former second-round pick played well for New England in 2016 when Brady was serving his four-game suspension. He completed 43 of 63 passes for 502 yards with 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.
But in the offseason, there were persistent rumors that the Cleveland Browns were engaged in trade talks for Garoppolo. The Browns had no shortage of assets in which to deal to New England, but nothing ever materialized. The assumption was the Patriots simply elected to hang onto Garoppolo as insurance for Brady.
The fact that the 49ers were able to pry Garoppolo away for just a 2nd-round pick is nothing short of alarming.
Consider what the Browns had to offer New England: They had an extra first-round pick (not counting the first overall pick they used for Myles Garrett) and two second-rounders in the 2017 NFL Draft (The Browns dealt one of the 2nd round picks to move up to take David Njoku late in the first round). Plus, the Browns have 2 first-round picks and three second-rounders in the 2018 NFL Draft.
So what gives? Why couldn't the Browns make a trade happen?
Here's what the NFL Network's Ian Rappoport posted on Twitter after the deal:
When #Browns made an offer for Jimmy Garoppolo during the draft, they didn’t offer a 1st. Just a 2nd & change. Pats wait & take this deal.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 31, 2017
It's still baffling to me. Did Patriots coach Bill Belichick not want to deal Garoppolo within the AFC? Did the Browns get scared off by the fact that Garoppolo will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season? (They have more cap room than any team in the NFL, by the by)
No matter the explanation, this news isn't going to sit easy with fans who are already angry at the Browns' inability to find a franchise quarterback. This tweet from ESPN's Stats and Info on Monday is a reminder of that:
19 - Pass TD by NFL leaders Carson Wentz & Deshaun Watson, both drafted with picks traded by Cleveland.
17 - Interceptions by Browns QBs.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 30, 2017
Looks like Sashi Brown, Paul DePodesta, and Hue Jackson have some more explaining to do.