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.

  • maxfnmloans

    Ben Allbright, NFL writer I may only tangentially be aware of, from Denver, says something and people with narrative to fit trip over selves to believe it.

    Who says Grabapple and or his agent (also:Tom Bradys agent) didnt say “NO CLEVELAND” and the Patriots respected their wishes. After all, whats the difference between the 49ers 2nd rounder and the Browns? Why piss off Tom Brady? Maybe Brady really likes Jimmy and would be upset if a friend of his was just sent to the NFL version of Chernobyl

    Maybe the Browns made their call, took their shot, and were flatly denied. They’re supposed to stay in the office and shuffle papers for appearances? Cell phones dont work outside of an office?

    This all reeks of “Hey the Browns are an easy story guaranteed to generate clicks for me” “Ha ha look at the schmucks schmucking things up again”

    And the local media? Completely useless. Still waiting for a local scribe to break a Browns story. Can’t remember the last time it happened

  • tigersbrowns2

    just ask yourself this : what did Cassel & Brissett do after leaving NE ?? Grop is no sure thing … he hasn’t done anything at this level yet. was he worth the chance … sure.

  • Dan

    I agree with this. If the guy did not want to come here and is a free agent this off season, then what would the Browns have gained by giving up a 2nd round pick for him?

    Try and get a WR and let Kizer go out and prove he is the guy these last 8 games. If he isn’t (and even if he shows something) draft a QB high and surround the QB with talent.

  • scripty

    Browns offered to move the Njoku pick or a similar one, a late first -to NE last year. I think it’s clear that NE didn’t want to trade JG to CLE. Has there been any verified reporting that says CLE talked to NE yesterday and balked at the price.

    This writer above is making huge leaps. I am not Team HBT but this is a zoo monkey throwing poop at the wall.

  • MartyDaVille

    The point is, if the HBT wanted Garappolo last April, did something happen since then that made them not want him? How could it have? The guy hasn’t played a down. So the assumption is that they were still interested in him.

    If so, how did they let him get away? Asleep at the switch.

    The relationship between the coaching staff and the front office just has to be poisonous. This can’t be allowed to continue. Bye Sashi.

  • scripty

    Today I learned the Browns FO don’t have cell phones. I guess a deal is only possible via landline.

  • JM85

    Yikes, can we get an OSU column today?

  • Sam Gold

    “…we are now seeing leaks between both sides…”

    Really? They seem like they’re all coming from one side.

    As far as trading for someone/anyone’s backup when we’re likely to be #1 or 2 in line for the next top pick at the position…NO!

  • RGB

    That way nobody can bother them about running a multimillion dollar corporation after leaving promptly at 5:00 every day.

  • Saggy

    Very happy they didn’t make this deal. They’ll need that pick this draft. Grabbappappodapoulous wasn’t going to sign with the Browns next year anyways, and they’d be in an awfully uncomfortable position if they had to give him franchise-tag money just to play in CLE.

    Good move- but it’ll be a bad move if they don’t get TY Hilton if he is truly available.

  • The_Matt_of_Akron

    it’s starting to sound to me like your base assertion of “the Nerds wanted Garappolo last April” might not be true…

  • woofersus

    So, I get it. The coaching staff is feeling the heat, and maybe even reading the criticism in the media. They know it’s hard to survive two years of nearly going winless and they know their every mistake gets amplified to the max when they have to be perfect to even give their team a chance of being successful. Good players make coaches look better, and these guys are feeling like they are on a desert island.

    But, that doesn’t mean that the process should be abandoned when it comes to personnel any more than it should be abandoned when it comes to coaches. Flailing around at one because this sucks probably means flailing around at the other at the end of the season. Do the coaches really want to be judged on how much the team gets better after one or two token additions? Maybe Garropolo will turn out great, but trading a pretty good draft pick for an 8 game tryout followed by a big contract (or incredibly expensive franchise tag because he’d rather sign in Washington when Cousins leaves them than stay heare) isn’t very good strategy, and I think they viewed Jaime Collins as a lot less risky because they knew he was good already and traded a lot less than a 2nd rounder to get him. I think the HBT has made some mistakes and should adjust their processes based on those things, but it’s fairly clear at this point they didn’t intend to win this year. I think they stay the course. Garoppolo would have been interesting last year, but not now.