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Carolina Panthers ‘won’t make a run’ at Jimmy Garoppolo trade

Matt Johnson

If the Carolina Panthers are going to acquire competition for Sam Darnold and Matt Corral this summer, a Jimmy Garoppolo trade reportedly isn’t in the cards before the 2022 NFL season.

Carolina explored every avenue to upgrade at quarterback this offseason. When its pursuit of Deshaun Watson failed and other targets went elsewhere, the front office turned its focus to low-end quarterbacks. Garoppolo and Baker Mayfield immediately stood out as the targets, with their teams wanting to offload a massive salary and finding very few suitors for the low-ceiling starters.

Related: NFL insider thinks Jimmy Garoppolo stays with San Francisco 49ers

Something nearly came together during the 2022 NFL Draft. Carolina engaged in extended trade conversations, seemingly on the verge of acquiring Mayfield. However, a disagreement regarding the amount of Mayfield’s salary the Cleveland Browns would cover ended negotiations.

Instead, the Panthers used a 2023 third-round pick to move up for Corral. He will be in the mix to become the starting quarterback this fall, especially given Carolina’s internal optimism regarding his potential.

While acquiring another veteran quarterback is still possible, it seems Garoppolo isn’t in Carolina’s plans.

According to Jonathan M. Alexander of The Charlotte Observer, the Panthers won’t be making a run at acquiring Garoppolo. The organization is concerned about his surgically-repaired shoulder and the team is adamant about not taking on his salary.

  • Jimmy Garoppolo contract: $24.2 million salary, $26.95 million cap hit (2022)

Money is proving to be a major sticking point in the pursuit of any veteran quarterback on the trade market. It’s why a reunion with Cam Newton, if he’s open to ending his career on Carolina, might be more likely than acquiring Mayfield or Garoppolo.

Will Jimmy Garoppolo be traded?

NFL: NFC Championship-San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

If the Carolina Panthers are out on Jimmy Garoppolo, it could prove to be an issue for the San Francisco 49ers. The organization entered the offseason determined to trade its former starter, creating an easy path for Trey Lance to become the face of the franchise without any questions about his job security.

Shoulder surgery delayed the 49ers’ plans and it dealt another blow to Garoppolo’s trade value. Already carrying a massive cap hit, San Francisco wants the financial flexibility a trade would provide to sign its younger stars to contract extensions.

Losing the Panthers as a potential suitor would be a problem. It really only leaves the Seattle Seahawks as a potential landing spot and the 49ers don’t want to trade Garoppolo within the division. While the organization might hold him to see if a quarterback gets hurt, injuries to signal-callers are extremely rare during the summer.

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Ultimately, the 49ers might be forced to either keep a $26 million backup quarterback or they’ll need to cut their losses and see if Garoppolo is open to a buyout. Either outcome is a scenario the 49ers likely thought wouldn’t have happened when this began. If he is cut, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Garoppolo quickly signed with the Seahawks.