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Browns should pass on Jimmy Garoppolo

Down in Houston for Super Bowl week, rumors were flying all over the place. The Oakland Raiders might be exactly that come the start of the 2017 season. Tony Romo wants to go to a contender, and he has four teams in mind. The Cleveland Browns are ready to try yet another quarterback, and they are interested in an Eastern Illinois product currently backing up Tom Brady.

Let’s take a look at the latter. Cleveland is coming off another miserable campaign, ending the season 1-15 after starting 0-14. The Browns are one of two teams with a pair of picks in the first round of April’s NFL Draft, selecting first and 12th-overall. General manager Sashi Brown looks to be in good position here, but lookds can be deceiving.

The Browns have had ample years in recent past where they possess two picks in the top round, only to make horrendous decisions. In 2012, Cleveland took Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden with the third and 22nd-overall picks. Neither lasted through their rookie contract with the team. In 2014, the Browns landed Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel. Gilbert was cut by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday, while Manziel is one of the biggest busts in NFL history, something most teams saw coming a mile away. Finally, the 2015 draft saw Danny Shelton and Cameron Erving come to Cleveland. Both remain on the roster, but neither has produced much.

So why should Brown stick with his duo of picks instead of dealing for Garoppolo? Context and belief. Brown has to believe he will do a better job than his predecessors in Cleveland did. Having two selections in the top 12 picks is extremely valuable, regardless of team history. Brown has to make sure he lands two high-end players, regardless of position.

As for context, think of this: the Browns are a mess. They started three quarterbacks this season because all ended up hurt. The offensive line is a mess, the weapons are terrible and the defense is a sieve. Putting a young quarterback with two career starts behind center is a recipe for disaster. Sure, Garoppolo looked good in New England with an elite team and the best coach of all-time standing on the sideline, but that is miles different from the situation in Cleveland.

If Brown, and the Browns, are smart, they steer clear of giving up a first-round pick for Garoppolo. They invest in the trenches in this draft, perhaps picking up Myles Garrett to rush the passer and then another quality player who lives in near the line of scrimmage. It’s the only way this team is ever going to come out of the abyss.

Garoppolo looks like a great option for Cleveland. He’s not. It’s a trick.

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