Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Browns actually reached out to the Patriots on Oct. 28 about a potential trade for backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo. However, New England told them that they had “no interest in dealing Garoppolo.”
According to Pluto, the Browns asked the Patriots to let them know if anything changed from their end, as they were “definitely” interested in bidding for him.
Garoppolo’s agent reportedly said his client didn’t want to play in Cleveland, but the Browns weren’t discouraged by this or the fact that Garoppolo is in line to be a free agent next March.
Instead, the Browns felt good about the fact that they could offer Garoppolo a starting job, big-money extension or a franchise tender next year.
After trade talks got underway with the 49ers, Pluto says the Patriots never contacted the Browns about a potential deal, despite the fact that they had consistently expressed interest in a deal for him. Pluto mentions that the Browns didn’t understand why considering that they’ve done deals with the past with the Patriots and had plenty of draft picks to offer that would have topped the offer from the 49ers.
From there, the Browns turned their attention to a potential trade for Bengals backup QB A.J. McCarron and nearly completed the deal before it turned into a debacle. Pluto explains that it appears as though both teams were not quite sure they actually wanted to make the McCarron trade until the final hours before the deadline.
In the end, Garoppolo was traded to the 49ers for a 2018 second-round pick and McCarron remains the Bengals’ backup.
Some have speculated that the Patriots wanted to do right by Garoppolo and send him to a team that he and his agent felt good about moving forward. Others said that Patriots HC Bill Belichick was reluctant to help out the Browns.
Either way, Cleveland figures to be in the market for quarterback again in 2018, despite using a second-round pick on DeShone Kizer this past April