How Browns' stunning trade for Watson impacts Jimmy G, 49ers


The Deshaun Watson saga is over.

He is heading to the Cleveland Browns. And, now, everyone can move on with their lives.

Baker Mayfield is moving on, for sure. He reportedly wants the Browns to trade him to the Indianapolis Colts.

The Colts would seem to be an ideal fit for Jimmy Garoppolo, who remains in limbo while under contract with the 49ers. Garoppolo won a lot of games during his time with the 49ers, as he made good use of a strong running game and a stout defense. That’s the formula for the Colts, too.

Mayfield is the quarterback whose time ran out in Cleveland. He will take some baggage to his next team. Garoppolo has plenty of issues, too. Specifically, Garoppolo is the quarterback who will be unable to throw a football for approximately 3 1/2 more months after undergoing shoulder surgery last week.

Despite all of the huge news at the quarterback position around the NFL, there is still more demand than supply.

Teams that once had quarterback questions have solved those issues. Tom Brady is back with Tampa Bay; Denver landed Russell Wilson; Carson Wentz goes to Washington; Pittsburgh is going with Mitchell Trubisky; and Cleveland pulled of the blockbuster deal Friday for Watson.

Garoppolo and Mayfield remain available, as do Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Andy Dalton.

Teams still in need of a quarterback include the Watson losers — Atlanta, Carolina and New Orleans — as well as Indianapolis, Seattle and Watson’s former team, the Houston Texans. Atlanta was ready to move on from Matt Ryan as they pursued Watson. So there remains some uncertainty there.

The 49ers were not interested in Watson, as their plan remains to turn the keys over to Trey Lance.

Garoppolo has been a solid starting quarterback with the 49ers. He produced more with the 49ers than Mayfield did in his four unfulfilling seasons in Cleveland.

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The 49ers did not trade up to No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft to land a middle-of-the-pack quarterback. They expect big things from Lance over a long period of time, beginning in the 2022 season.

Finding a landing spot for Garoppolo has not been as simple as anticipated because of a volatile quarterback market and the fact his shoulder prevents him from doing quarterback things for a while.

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