On Sunday, the Cleveland Browns were dismantled by the Philadelphia Eagles in a 29-10 blowout. While the loss hurt, news surfaced Monday afternoon that Robert Griffin III was going to be headed to the injured reserve with a fractured bone in his left shoulder after not sliding on a quarterback run. Ouch. On the injured reserve, RGIII could be back practicing in six weeks, but will have to sit out a minimum of eight games.
At some point, you have to start feeling for Griffin. He has so much talent, which was seen in his rookie year with the Washington Redskins; but he needs to learn how to run as a quarterback, which means sliding and protecting one's body. RGIII explained that he did not see the defender coming and thought he was close enough to the sidelines that he did not need to slide. While Griffin did come back in for the final three plays, he handed the ball off and did not put any serious pressure on his body. With Griffin's injury, 37-year-old Josh McCown now becomes the starting quarterback, which means the Browns have a legitimate shot of going 0-16, considering their difficult schedule and terrible roster.
However, the Browns have assets, including draft picks, left tackle Joe Thomas, wide receiver Josh Gordon, and defensive back Joe Haden that could interest teams that have a decent backup quarterback.
Please enter, the New England Patriots.
After last Sunday's win against the Arizona Cardinals, it became apparent that 24-year-old Jimmy Garoppolo could play in the National Football League. Because I don't think Tom Brady is going anywhere anytime soon, the Patriots should explore the trade market for the Eastern Illinois alum. Garoppolo's value can only rise as he plays the Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans and Buffalo Bills in the next three weeks before the conclusion of Brady's four-game ban for his "role" in Deflategate.
The Patriots have some serious question marks on the offensive line, and Joe Thomas is not getting any younger at the age of 31-years-old. The former 2007 #3 overall pick is a nine-time pro bowler and one of the best left tackles in all of football, but has never been on a remotely competitive team. If the Patriots were to acquire Thomas, they could flip Nate Solder to right tackle and take Marcus Cannon, who has been an abomination at times, out of the equation, while also obtaining a player that is hungry for a Super Bowl ring. Because Thomas alone would not be enough, in my opinion, the Browns could throw in a draft pick.
If the Patriots really wanted to make things interesting, they could send a late-round pick to the Browns as well for the services of talented, yet troubled, wide receiver Josh Gordon and make this a true blockbuster deal. While Gordon has had marijuana issues since entering the league, when his head is on straight, Gordon is one of the most dominant wide receivers in football. The Patriots have had issues with the law in recent years with some of their players *cough Aaron Hernandez cough,* but Gordon may be a guy to take a flyer on if the price is right. In 2013, in 14 games, Gordon had 87 receptions, 1646 yards and nine touchdowns from the likes of Brian Hoyer, Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden. Imagine what he could do with Tom Brady?
Is this going to happen? Probably not. Should the Patriots explore the option of trading Jimmy Garoppolo if they believe Tom Brady can continue to play at a high level for the next 3-5 years? Absolutely.
With the NFL Trade Deadline scheduled for November 1st at 4 PM, do not be surprised if you hear Garoppolo's name floated around with teams that are desperate for a quarterback if he continues to play at a high level.