49ers news: Baker Mayfield trade request will impact Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers hugs Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers hugs Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The 49ers’ market for Jimmy Garoppolo takes a new twist, as Baker Mayfield has requested a trade from the Browns after their relationship deteriorated fast.

Maybe the San Francisco 49ers are going to be rewarded for being patient in executing a trade for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo after all.

Or maybe not. That part is hard to tell.

What’s not hard to tell, however, is just how quickly the relationship between the Cleveland Browns and quarterback Baker Mayfield deteriorated over the last several weeks.

The former No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick, coming off a 2021 season in which shoulder injuries inhibited his play, entered the offseason with an uncertain future, as Cleveland was playing him on his fifth-year option but without a long-term extension in place.

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the Browns were in on the trade sweepstakes for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, which made Mayfield’s precarious future in Cleveland look even bleaker. And if that wasn’t bad enough, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen’s statement on the Browns wanting “an adult at that position” certainly put a cap on Mayfield’s desire to stay:

Up to this point, Watson and Garoppolo were arguably the two most qualified starters available on the trade market, Watson apparently needing to be the first domino to fall.

Yet Watson ruled out Cleveland, focusing his attention towards the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints instead.

However, Mayfield’s desire to move on from a Browns team that appears set to move on from him was imminent, for sure.

Tack on Mayfield to the offseason quarterback-trade market.

Easier or tougher for 49ers to move Jimmy Garoppolo after Baker Mayfield news?

The Niners didn’t trade Garoppolo prior to the start of the league new year on March 16 despite plenty of speculation they’d do so. While many have suggested San Francisco overplayed its hand and overvalued Jimmy G, potentially missing out on potential trade opportunities that no longer exist, there’s no doubting Mayfield’s arrival on the trade block alters things.

A lot.

On one hand, the Browns are suddenly a team that could look to the 49ers as potential trade partners for Garoppolo if Mayfield is moved soon. And Garoppolo might be a good fit there, too, as Cleveland boasts a good offensive line, owns a run-first offense and has a quality defense. Even Garoppolo might prefer Cleveland over rebuilding squads like the Panthers or Saints.

At the same time, however, Mayfield thins the already-thin pool of available veteran quarterbacks on the trade market.

While there are still plenty of possibilities to play out, a would-be loser of the Watson sweepstakes could suddenly turn to Mayfield as a contingency plan, leaving one less team in the market for Garoppolo. Particularly if the Browns already have their own contingency plan in place.

That latter situation wouldn’t be beneficial to the Niners at all.

San Francisco could still hope for the former, though, banking on the hope Cleveland might be added to the pool of teams in need of a quarterback.

Even though how the Browns handled the whole situation with Watson and Mayfield was notably disappointing.

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