Jimmy Garoppolo is the real deal, according to Josh McCown.
McCown, a free-agent journeyman NFL quarterback who spent the last two seasons with the Cleveland Browns, has heard the rumors that his former employer could pursue Garoppolo, and he’s made it clear he thinks very highly of the New England Patriots QB.
“I’ve seen him on tape because we had a common opponent in Miami,” McCown told Cleveland.com last week. “He made some high-level throws and did some things that would get you excited about his ability to maybe carry a franchise. That’s definitely on the tape.”
It’s unclear whether the Patriots will consider trading Garoppolo this offseason after winning their fifth Super Bowl title. Tom Brady has shown no signs of slowing down, though, so it’s reasonable to think New England might consider dealing the backup quarterback, especially since the price tag could be high given the number of teams that need a franchise signal caller.
“He’s gained a wealth of experience from playing with a guy like Tom Brady, so I do think there’s a lot of potential there and a chance to be a very special player,” McCown said, per Cleveland.com. “I certainly see why people would give him an opportunity to come in and be a franchise guy. You can certainly see that and he’s making these throws at a high level against NFL talent, so that would get me excited about him for sure.”
Garoppolo, a second-round pick in 2014, obviously doesn’t have much in-game NFL experience having spent three seasons backing up arguably the best quarterback of all time. But he thrived in two starts this season while filling in for Brady, who was suspended for New England’s first four games, and he could evolve into a star elsewhere if given the opportunity.
“I saw some things in Derek Carr early on in the 2014 draft that reminded me of Aaron Rodgers and I thought ‘this guy is going to be pretty good,’ ” McCown said. “I see the same things when I watch Jimmy: quick release, strong arm, athletic. I’m not saying he’s Aaron Rodgers, but he’s got some traits in the same mold, and he’s got tremendous upside.”
The Browns own the No. 1 and No. 12 selections in the first round of this year’s NFL draft, so if they’d like to make a play for Garoppolo, like McCown suggests, they certainly have the assets to put together an appealing offer.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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