Will the San Francisco 49ers trade Jimmy Garoppolo? It’s the million-dollar question in the Bay Area with NFL free agency slated to start here soon.
Recent reports suggest that San Francisco will only move Garoppolo if the team can acquire Deshaun Watson. While that might very well be true, there’s other options for general manager John Lynch and Co.
As for Garoppolo, there wouldn’t be a limited number of teams interested in acquiring a quarterback who is just over a year removed from starting in the Super Bowl. Here’s a look five teams who are a perfect for for Jimmy Garoppolo.
Jimmy Garoppolo to the New York Jets
Jets Jimmy Garoppolo trade package: Third-round pick in 2021 conditional 2022 mid-round pick
Let’s be clear here for a second. The Jets are either going to trot out a rookie quarterback in 2021 or will be looking for a veteran to replace Sam Darnold. Despite suggestions that general manager Joe Douglas and new head coach Robert Saleh are still evaluating their options, the former No. 3 pick is as good as gone. Neither Douglas nor Saleh have a built-in relationship with the former No. 3 pick.
Sure Darnold heading to the 49ers in a Jimmy Garoppolo trade could make sense. Head coach Kyle Shanahan still loves the former USC standout. However, this scenario includes San Francisco either pulling off a separate Deshaun Watson blockbuster or going with a stopgap option like Ryan Fitzpatrick under center in 2021.
As for the Jets, there’s a few reasons to believe that they would value Garoppolo as a stopgap option with a rookie sitting behind him for a year or two. Perhaps, BYU’s Zach Wilson. Not only does Saleh have a relationship with Garoppolo dating back to their days with San Francisco, new Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur worked with him in the Bay Area. His offense is going to be a carbon copy of what Shanahan runs in San Francisco.
Jimmy Garoppolo to the Denver Broncos
Broncos Jimmy Garoppolo trade package: Drew Lock and conditional 2022 late-round pick
If it were up to Broncos president John Elway, Garoppolo might already be a member of the Broncos. We already know that Elway loves himself prototypical quarterbacks. Alas, it’s not to be after Elway gave up general manager duties when he hired George Paton away from the Minnesota Vikings.
We also already know that the Broncos are looking to upgrade from Drew Lock after he tied for the league lead in interceptions with 15 a season ago. Objectively, Garoppolo would be a major upgrade from last season’s iteration of Lock. He would also have a built-in skill-position group capable of lifting the quarterback’s game up, wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton included.
This hypothetical Jimmy Garoppolo trade scenario includes San Francisco taking a chance that Lock can rebound after a disastrous sophomore season. It would also include him competing with Josh Rosen and perhaps a veteran free-agent signing for the 49ers’ starting job during training camp.
Jimmy Garoppolo to the New England Patriots
Patriots Jimmy Garoppolo trade package: Fourth-round pick in 2021 and third-round pick in 2022
This was bandied about a whole lot before the 49ers’ brass took to the media to claim Garoppolo was not going anywhere. And it makes perfect sense. New England is looking for an upgrade after the failed Cam Newton experiment. It was not in on either Matthew Stafford or Carson Wentz prior to them being moved.
More than anything, reacquiring Garoppolo would give Bill Belichick and Co. a comfortable hand at quarterback. He knows offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ system dating back to the quarterback’s days in New England. Meanwhile, Belichick never wanted to trade Garoppolo to San Francisco back in 2017.
A move of this ilk would give these Patriots a multi-year option at quarterback for a mere two mid-round picks. In turn, San Francisco either finds a veteran stopgap or pulls off a blockbuster trade with the Houston Texans. It could make sense for all involved parties.
Jimmy Garoppolo to the Chicago Bears
Bears Jimmy Garoppolo trade package: Fifth-round pick in 2021, cornerback Kyle Fuller
Head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace are clearly on the hot seat. It’s one of the reasons Chicago was linked to Carson Wentz and is apparently in on both Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson. Winning now, in their view, likely doesn’t include retaining impending NFL free agent Mitchell Trubisky.
As an Illinois native, this trade would be somewhat of a homecoming for Garoppolo. And while the Bears would have to add skill-position talent around him, their offensive line is built to hold up. For a signal caller in Garoppolo who has dealt with injuries in two of the past three seasons, that’s no small thing.
As for the 49ers, regardless of what happens at quarterback, they must find some veteran cornerback help. That’s where a former Pro Bowler in Kyle Fuller could be part of this hypothetical Jimmy Garoppolo trade. With Richard Sherman, Jason Verrett, Emmanuel Moseley, K’Waun Williams and Ahkello Witherspoon slated to become free agents, cornerback is a pressing need for San Francisco.
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Jimmy Garoppolo to the Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys Jimmy Garoppolo trade package: Michael Gallup
Let’s say for a second that Dallas does the unimaginable and trades Dak Prescott. The team would then have to find a replacement. Short of a longshot trade for Russell Wilson, Garoppolo could be a relatively cheap alternative over the short term. He’s proven to have success as a starting quarterback and the Cowboys have the weapons to help him succeed.
This hypothetical Jimmy Garoppolo trade sends young receiver Michael Gallup to the Bay Area. He’s been bandied about on the NFL trade block due to the presence of Amari Cooper and stud young pass-catcher CeeDee Lamb in the Big D. Gallup would join an elite skill-position trio in San Francisco in that of George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk.