If the NFL is successful in their appeal and quarterback Deshaun Watson and ultimately sees an increase in his six-game suspension, the Browns will have interest in Jimmy Garoppolo, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
Judge Sue L. Robinson recommended the six-game suspension earlier this month, with the NFLPA saying that they and Watson would respect whatever decision the independent judge made. Both sides, via the collective bargaining agreement, had a right to appeal the decision and the NFL chose to do so. Unfortunately for Watson and the NFLPA, Roger Goodell designated Peter Harvey to hear the appeal, so it seems likely that Watson will end up being suspended for a much lengthier period and perhaps facing a hefty fine.
While being a one-year -- or part of one year -- bridge in Cleveland may not be the most ideal landing circumstance for Garoppolo, he's going to be hard pressed to find a better spot at this stage. The 49ers have pivoted to Trey Lance, and the Browns have a much better roster than other teams that could potentially be fits for Garoppolo, like the Houston Texans or Seattle Seahawks.
Garoppolo is currently scheduled to have a $26.95 million cap hit in the final year of his contract, but the 49ers will likely release him instead of paying that if they can't work out a trade before Week 1. Releasing Garoppolo would leave the 49ers with just $1.4 million in dead cap money.
Veteran Jacoby Brissett is currently in line to start in Week 1 for the Browns if Watson isn't eligible to play.