NFL rumors: 49ers to part ways with QB Jimmy Garoppolo

NFL free agency: 49ers to release Jimmy Garoppolo?
Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Super Bowl quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will not be on the field Sunday when the San Francisco 49ers close up shop on the 2020 season. It’s led to NFL rumors suggesting that the injury-plagued veteran might have played his final game in Northern California.

Garoppolo, 29, has played in just six games this season due to multiple high-ankle sprains. Remember, he also missed all but three games back in 2018 to a torn ACL. Could the 49ers opt to move off Garoppolo this coming offseason?

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NFL rumors: 49ers to part ways with QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo trade would be involved in hypothetical Deshaun Watson trade to the 49ers
Oct 25, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) throws a pass against the New England Patriots in the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

“Garoppolo’s injuries certainly complicate the picture. Kyle Shannahan, the coach said, he believes Garoppolo will be the quarterback in 2021, but he says he can’t say it with certainty,” ESPN’s Chris Mortenson reported Sunday (h/t CBS Boston). “Most league insiders believe if there’s a better option, the 49ers will have somebody other than Garoppolo at the start of next season.”

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan did go on record late last month indicating that he believes Garoppolo will be their starting quarterback when Week 1 of the 2021 season comes calling. However, that also included a caveat.

If San Francisco can upgrade from Garoppolo this coming March, the team will have to think long and hard about doing just that. Outside of his injury issues, the veteran just has not taken that next step to elite status under Shanahan. This season alone, Garoppolo threw seven touchdowns against five interceptions in six starts.

From a 49ers perspective, NFL rumors will continue to heat up about a potential Garoppolo replacement should they opt to either trade or release the veteran. The cap-strapped 49ers can save nearly $23.5 million by moving off Garoppolo.

Related: Jimmy Garoppolo trade scenarios

NFL rumors: Who might replace Jimmy Garoppolo with the 49ers?

NFL rumors: Matthew Stafford, 49ers
Dec 13, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) runs with the ball while pressured by Green Bay Packers nose tackle Kenny Clark (97) during the first quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Mortenson’s report includes the high likelihood that San Francisco will have other options outside of Garoppolo. The trade market could include Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles and longtime Detroit Lions Pro Bowl quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Meanwhile, the 2021 NFL Draft is absolutely loaded at quarterback. Justin Fields (Ohio State) and Zach Wilson (BYU) could be options should the 49ers look to trade up. NFL rumors indicate this one team selecting at the top of Round 1 could be interested in a trade down from that spot.

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Despite their disastrous 6-9 record this season, the 49ers are still seen as one of the most-talented teams in the NFL. In fact, they have missed the most games to injury than any team in the modern history of the league throughout a 16-game season.

As for Garoppolo, there’s going to be a market for his services. Above all else, the quarterback’s former New England Patriots team could be an option given that they are going to part ways with Cam Newton after just one season. Realistically, Garoppolo would be seen as an upgrade over this season’s iteration of Mr. Newton.

There’s going to be a ton of moving parts as it relates to quarterbacks once the 2020 NFL season comes to a conclusion. These 49ers will be among the most talked about given their status as the defending NFC champions and just how important quarterback is in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.

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