Browns

Counterpoint: Trading for Jimmy Garoppolo would have been short-sighted

Sep 18, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) makes a pass while being defended by Miami Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso (47) during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

In the wake of the news Jimmy Garoppolo has been dealt to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2018 2nd round pick, Browns fans are left feeling like the front office failed them again. The back-and-forth game between Hue Jackson and the front office over missed opportunities and who is to blame is just beginning.

While we may never know who is accurately to blame for the failed quarterback drafts of recent years, we do know the (self-created) pressure is higher than ever to solve that position. The pressure is so high that we are now seeing leaks between both sides in the middle of a season for who is to blame on missing Garoppolo. I can’t say any of this is going to end well.

Where you stand on the growing indifference between the front office and the coaching staff is of no significance here. We will never know if Allbright’s tweets above happened the way it is described to him, nor will we know if Garoppolo used his agent’s influence to persuade the Patriots away from a trade to the Browns. There are factors here we don’t know, making it tough to place the specific blame. We may never know the truth. What we do know is that passing on Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t the end of the NFL world when it comes to solving the Browns’ issues of the last 18 years.

Sure, Garoppolo did some things well in stepping in for Tom Brady last year. He looked comfortable in the Patriots fine tuned offensive machine, and his trade value soared.

But what we can’t miss here is that taking quarterbacks out of Tom Brady’s shadow hasn’t always gone as well as planned. Remove Matt Cassel’s 2010 season and he never quite panned out. The list goes on, including Ryan Mallett, Brian Hoyer to name a few. These men have left New England and the comforts of that dominant franchise, and save one good year here and there, have never panned out into franchise quarterbacks. Jacoby Brissett is having a nice season filling in for Andrew Luck, but there is still plenty left for Brissett to prove. While Garoppolo arguably has the best pedigree (he was a second-round pick), the Patriots have yet to ship out a franchise quarterback who was sitting behind Tom Brady. Why would they do so now?

The reluctance to take a cheap chance on Garoppolo for what would have been just one of their two second-round picks is merely fueled by the passing on incredibly successful quarterbacks like  Wentz and DeShaun Watson. Those were failures of opportunity that required no movement from the franchise. Fans want stability at the quarterback position, something the Browns have not been able to confidently say they have answered since their return in 1999, and seeing each missed opportunity makes the next one that much more egregious.

Garoppolo is also a better option than anything on the Browns’ roster right now. He’s more talented than Cody Kessler and would be an upgrade to what the team is currently seeing from DeShone Kizer. This doesn’t mean there are not better options on the market come the offseason. Garoppolo as a band-aid right now. Whether through free agency or the draft, the options will be better fit for whoever is here coaching this team. Pulling the trigger for Garoppolo midseason doesn’t change the course of this 0-8 year, and if anything it ruins their route to the No. 1 pick they so desperately need again.

Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t the long-term answer the Browns need. The bigger issue is the dysfunction in Berea, the divide the Garoppolo deal has now forced. We all knew it was festering, Garoppolo has now just been the vehicle to make it public. That’s the real news here, not that they passed on a question mark of a quarterback at the trade deadline.