Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson faces six-game suspension; 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo to Browns unlikely

Aug 1, 2022 at 8:17 AM--

A punishment for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, whose legal issues continue, has been decided. The 26-year-old player has faced 24 civil lawsuits from women accusing him of sexual misconduct and sexual assault. Twenty have been settled. The off-field controversies started last year during his time with the Houston Texans. In March, the Cleveland Browns traded multiple first-round picks and more for the talented quarterback.

On Monday, former federal judge Sue L. Robinson determined that Deshaun Watson violated the personal conduct policy, imposing a six-game suspension. The NFL has until Thursday to appeal the decision, should the league feel the need to increase the suspension time.

Jacoby Brissett, Joshua Dobbs, and Josh Rosen are the other Browns quarterbacks. There was a thought that the team might desire to upgrade, which could have benefited the San Francisco 49ers. They have a veteran quarterback available in Jimmy Garoppolo. If the suspension stands at six games, a trade between the 49ers and Browns is unlikely to occur.

According to respected Browns insider Mary Kay Cabot of, the team was not expected to pursue Garoppolo.

"The Browns are still not expected to pursue a trade for Jimmy Garoppolo even with the uncertainty over Deshaun Watson's suspension," Cabot wrote. "The Browns never seriously considered trading for Garoppolo this offseason, even before Watson hit the trade market in March when a grand jury declined to indict him on criminal charges."

The 49ers' play-by-play radio announcer disagreed.

"I would say right away, the Cleveland Browns do have interest in Jimmy Garoppolo, there's no doubt," Greg Papa said on KNBR. "They are just waiting for what's going to happen to the guy they gave $230 million fully guaranteed to. ... I have great sources on this that the Browns have shown interest in Jimmy Garoppolo."

San Francisco has sought to trade Garoppolo and expected to do so in March. However, the quarterback unexpectedly underwent shoulder surgery on March 8, halting all trade talks. Since then, the list of quarterback-needy teams has dwindled, with many organizations making moves to add passers.

Trey Lance, last year's No. 3 overall pick, is expected to become the 49ers' full-time starter in the 2022 season. With Garoppolo recovering from surgery, the second-year player has taken most of the offseason practice reps.

The 49ers started training camp last week. Garoppolo has been seen throwing at the facility but has been excused from participating in practices with his teammates.

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