With the potential for Deshaun Watson's suspension to be extended to more than six games, the Browns seem to be planning ahead. And they are reportedly looking to current 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo currently has a base salary of $24.2 million for 2022, but that is not fully guaranteed until Sept. 10. And the Browns have approximately $49 million in effective cap space, which is the most in the NFL, to make this happen should the suspension be extended.
Last season, Garoppolo threw for 3,810 yards and 20 touchdowns and took the 49ers all the way to the NFC Championship game. He was recently cleared to practice on Aug. 3 after undergoing surgery in March to fix a torn capsule in his right throwing shoulder.
Should Watson's suspension be extended, this could be a good option for Garoppolo should he get the opportunity, as the 49ers have given Garoppolo permission to entertain other teams and are looking to a future of Trey Lance at quarterback. So it would make sense for the Browns to make a move for Garoppolo in the event of a longer Watson suspension.
The Browns are favored at +200 to be the team that lands Garoppolo, ahead of the Seahawks at +350, the Dolphins at +400, the Texans at +550 and the Giants at +750. And the fact is even if Watson's suspension isn't increased, he's going to miss games and Garoppolo would be a major upgrade over their current backup Jacoby Brissett.
The Browns' odds to win the Super Bowl this season are +2400 at FanDuel, their odds to win the AFC are +1400 and their odds to win the AFC North are +300. With Watson's suspension where it currently stands at six games, the BetQL Model is projecting they have a 66 percent chance to make the playoffs this season and a 39 percent chance to win the division. The Model is also projecting they will win 10.1 games this season, going well over their win total of 8.5 games. If you want to get in on the over on this win total, you can get that at +100, while the under is at -120. Should Watson be suspended for longer and the Browns do not acquire Garoppolo, I'd expect these odds to get longer with Brissett at quarterback.