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Browns might try to trade 12th overall draft pick for Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo

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A lot could change, but “the interest is real.”

One of the most interesting story lines for the New England Patriots this upcoming offseason will be the landing place for back-up QB Jimmy Garoppolo. The Patriots are looking to acquire an early first round pick in exchange for the promising third-year quarterback and might retain his services if they don’t receive a good enough offer.

Well, Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot believes the Browns could put together a package that could entice the Patriots to ship Garoppolo to Cleveland.

“Sources say the Browns' interest in Garoppolo is real and that they'll try to trade for him depending on how their draft evaluations go over the next five weeks or so,” Cabot writes. “If the Browns decide to draft Mitch Trubisky or Deshaun Watson in the first round, they'll be much less likely to pursue the Patriots' backup -- but wouldn't rule it out.”

Cabot notes that the Browns will be jockeying with the 49ers to acquire Garoppolo, noting “Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan liked [Garoppolo] coming out of the draft, and might pursue a deal once he formally becomes the 49ers' head coach.”

The 49ers own the 2nd overall draft pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, which would be an incredible return for the Patriots. San Francisco is also expected to pursue Washington QB Kirk Cousins. If the 49ers land Cousins in free agency, then the Browns might not have to enter a bidding war for Garoppolo.

“The Browns are intrigued [in Garoppolo], sources say, and they'll strongly consider it,” Cabot adds. “The cost could be the No. 12 overall pick and more.”

The Browns own the 1st overall pick and the 12th overall pick. Cleveland is expected to draft EDGE Myles Garrett at the top of the draft. They’ll have a few more months to determine whether Trubisky or Watson is a better prospect than Garoppolo.