Weeks away from training camp commencing, neither the Cleveland Browns nor San Francisco 49ers have traded quarterbacks widely expected to play elsewhere in 2022.
Baker Mayfield’s relationship with the Browns organization disintegrated as they pursued Deshaun Watson, whom they eventually acquired and awarded a record-setting contract. Meanwhile, the 49ers are likely to transition from Jimmy Garoppolo to Trey Lance as their starting signal-caller.
There seemingly isn’t a long line of suitors for either passer, which led one analyst to suggest a swap.
Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox proposed giving both Mayfield and Garoppolo a change of scenery by having them change places.
“San Francisco and Cleveland both have talented rosters and should be in the championship mix if they stay healthy and can get steady quarterback play,” Knox wrote. “A Mayfield-for-Garoppolo trade would help ensure that each franchise has quarterback insurance while allowing the 49ers and Browns to move on from players they no longer want.”
The idea makes sense for Cleveland, as Watson may still face a suspension for multiple allegations of sexual assault and harassment. If Mayfield doesn’t want to bury the hatchet, the Browns could use Jimmy G to replace Watson for part (or all) of 2022.
On the other hand, the 49ers probably won’t want to exchange Garoppolo for another highly-paid backup. However, Mayfield will make $8.6 million less than San Francisco’s incumbent. He’s also three years younger.
Knox isn’t the only person to concoct a trade involving both quarterbacks. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio suggested a deal that sent Garoppolo to the Browns, but his three-team proposal had the Carolina Panthers acquiring Mayfield while the 49ers get draft picks.
That idea might work better for San Francisco, but landing Jimmy G seems like a feasible plan for Cleveland if Watson receives a lengthy suspension.