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#pounditFriday, August 14, 2020

Browns were not willing to trade No. 4 overall pick for Jimmy Garoppolo?

Jimmy Garoppolo

The NFL world was left somewhat shocked when the New England Patriots only got a second-round pick from the San Francisco 49ers in return for Jimmy Garoppolo, with rumors swirling that the Cleveland Browns would have been willing to pay much, much more. According to one reporter, that is not entirely true.

Cleveland has both the No. 1 and No. 4 overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, and a report from earlier in the week claimed they would have given up the No. 4 pick — which they acquired in a draft day trade with the Houston Texans last year — for Garoppolo. In an appearance on WEEI’s “Kirk & Callahan Show” Friday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network said he does not believe the Browns were willing to pay that steep of a price.

As Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer phrased it, there is “something strange” about the Garoppolo trade. ESPN’s bombshell report about the Patriots’ power struggle claimed team owner Robert Kraft forced Bill Belichick to trade Garoppolo because Tom Brady wanted the backup quarterback gone, though reports have refuted that. According to Seth Wickersham, Belichick only offered Garoppolo to the 49ers because he has a good relationship with the Shanahan family and believed Garoppolo would succeed under Kyle Shanahan.

So we’re supposed to believe that Belichick — the king of doing “what’s best for the team” — turned down a top-five draft pick just because he wanted to send Garoppolo to the west coast? That seems hard to believe, which is probably why Rapoport doesn’t believe it.

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