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Getty Jimmy Garoppolo during the 49ers' wildcard win over Dallas on January 16, 2022.

Could the San Francisco 49ers welcome two past top five draft picks in the same position group?

That’s the idea from NFL writer Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report, who delivered his “firework trade ideas” on the Fourth of July.

Knox’s proposal: The 49ers finally move on from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for the first time in the era of general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan. But who the 49ers get in return is a veteran quarterback…who has been to the postseason but is also the subject of trade talks due to a polarizing career.

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Trade Lures in Ex-Top Pick Baker Mayfield

Knox’s idea that will surely be the NFL version of launching fireworks: The 49ers get Baker Mayfield in exchange with the Cleveland Browns.

That’s right, the former top pick of the 2018 NFL Draft who has had a rather star-crossed career in Cleveland comes in as the backup to Trey Lance, the No. 3 overall pick of the 2021 draft.

“The 49ers are likely to try trading Garoppolo once he’s recovered from offseason shoulder surgery enough to pass a physical. According to Jeremy Fowler, Garoppolo is expected to resume throwing in the next few weeks,” Knox said.

But there’s another reason why Jimmy G has been linked to the Browns.

“The Cleveland Browns, meanwhile, don’t know the future of Deshaun Watson,” Knox said. “The former Houston Texans quarterback faces league discipline under the personal conduct policy stemming from 24 lawsuits from women accusing him of sexual misconduct or assault. The league wrapped his disciplinary hearing last week and awaits the decision of Judge Sue L. Robinson.

“In this scenario, the Browns get their insurance in Garoppolo, who was good enough to guide San Francisco to the NFC title game last season,” Knox continued. “In a player-for-player swap, San Francisco would take on Mayfield and his $18.9 million salary. This would save roughly $8 million off the 2022 cap while adding a starting-caliber quarterback behind second-year signal-caller Trey Lance.”

Could Lance & Mayfield Co-Exist?

Mayfield is up for a change of scenery. That’s a given — especially with Mayfield telling ESPN on June 28 that he’s “ready to move on” from the Browns.

Like Garoppolo, Mayfield has had his name linked to the Seattle Seahawks and the Carolina Panthers as late trade possibilities. The former team, however, has witnessed head coach Pete Carroll state his belief in Drew Lock and Geno Smith. The latter team, meanwhile, has another past top five pick in Sam Darnold. However, following mixed results from Darnold last season, Pro Football Focus analyst Doug Kyed said “It’s unclear what the Panthers would do with Sam Darnold if they acquire Mayfield, but trading for the Browns’ discontent quarterback would give Carolina a much higher ceiling this season.”

If somehow Lynch, Shanahan and company orchestrate the “fireworks” and decide to lure in Mayfield, it’ll be considered a gamble among numerous 49er fans considering how Mayfield is still very young for an NFL QB and has thrown for 3,000 yards in every season. There’s also questions of whether or not the polarizing Mayfield would be fine with serving as the No. 2 on the depth chart.

Mayfield, though, shares this in common with Garoppolo: He’s played with stout running games. He’s had Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson sharing the load. Garoppolo has operated with his own running back rotation — a rotation that Lance will likely work with.

Roster wise, Knox sees both the 49ers and Browns as suitable fits for the embattled signal-callers.

“San Francisco and Cleveland both have talented rosters and should be in the championship mix if they stay healthy and can get steady quarterback play. A Mayfield-for-Garoppolo trade would help ensure that each franchise has quarterback insurance while allowing the 49ers and Browns to move on from players they no longer want,” Knox said.

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Tags: football nfl breaking news 5 fast facts crime politics shopping the cleveland browns the cleveland browns jimmy garoppolo baker mayfield san francisco linked move last season pick mayfield sam darnold

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Lakers Star Russell Westbrook Sparks Trade Speculation With Latest Move

Getty Images Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Russell Westbrook has been embroiled in trade drama for most of his tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers and the polarizing point guard sparked speculation that a move could be on the way by wiping his social media ahead of the team’s preseason opener on Monday.

Westbrook cleared out his Instagram feed to bare bones, which also got rid of anything associated with the Lakers. What’s notable about the move is the timing, with a rumored trade involving Westbrook making news.

Russell Westbrook has fully wiped his Instagram page ????

— Kicks (@kicks) October 3, 2022

It was reported by Shams Charania, Sam Amick and Jovan Buha of The Athletic that the prospect of Westbrook being traded in the coming weeks and months “remains real. Additionally, prior to the start of camp, the team heavily considered sending Westbrook and unprotected first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 to the Pacers for center Myles Turner and guard Buddy Hield.

The Lakers decided not to roll the dice on what is very much an all-in move, choosing instead to remain patient with Westbrook and his chemistry alongside Anthony Davis and LeBron James.

Lakers Made Stance on Trade First-Round Picks Clear Play
Media Day 2022: Rob Pelinka and Darvin HamRob Pelinka and Darvin Ham takes questions on Lakers Media Day Subscribe for the latest Lakers' content: Follow us on Facebook: Follow us on Instagram: Follow us on Twitter: Get the Lakers app:…2022-09-26T20:27:53Z

While the plan appears to stick with Westbrook for now, general manager Rob Pelinka made it clear the organization is committed to doing everything in its power to improve the roster.

“One thing that needs to be made clear is a lot of speculation: Will the Lakers trade their picks? Will they not trade their picks?” Pelinka said at media day. “Let me be abundantly clear: We have one of the great players in LeBron James to ever play the game, and he committed to us on a long-term contract, a three-year contract. So of course, we will do everything we can, picks included to make deals to give us a chance to help LeBron get to the end. He committed to our organization. That’s gotta be a bilateral commitment, and it’s there.”

As for Westbrook, he’s said all the right things leading up to the season despite the constant rumors.

“Whether they want me here or not, it doesn’t really matter,” Westbrook said. “My job is to be a professional and show up to work as I’ve always done.”

Westbrook’s Role as Starter Still Uncertain

The Lakers are tinkering with their new-look roster and the idea of Westbrook coming off the bench is a possibility. He’s coming off a year where he averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists but struggled to find consistency. Westbrook was benched during crunch time in some crucial games, which didn’t sit well with the former MVP.

Westbrook started Monday night’s preseason opener against the Kings but coach Darvin Ham has been clear that the team has options.

“We’re ways away. We have different options,” Ham said at Lakers media day. “We signed Dennis [Schroder], we signed Pat Bev, we got healthy Kendrick Nunn along with Russ himself, Austin Reaves. We have a variety of options to fill our backcourt.”

There’s still a lot to sort out when it comes to Westbrook’s future but for the time being, he’ll be sporting purple and gold — even if he’s not doing so on social media.

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