The San Francisco 49ers are going to trade quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, it might just be after the 2022 NFL Draft concludes.
There’s one month until the 2022 NFL Draft begins. Three days later, it’s over.
Then it’s time to start paying attention to whether — or better yet where — Jimmy Garoppolo gets dealt and for what price?
The San Francisco 49ers are going to eventually trade their starting quarterback. It’s a matter of when. There’s no reasonable way San Francisco keeps Garoppolo on the books when he’s due $27 million this season in the final year of his deal. General manager John Lynch said as much at the NFL Owner’s Meetings in Palm Beach, Fla. on Monday afternoon. Per NFL.com:
“We value strength at that position. To be completely forthright, though, when you make a trade of that magnitude (for Lance), most of our options did not include Jimmy on our books. On our team. But you always have to adapt and a series of events happened that it didn’t work out. But that’s not a bad thing, though. We feel positive with it. And we’ll make it work.”
Essentially, Garoppolo and the Niners are in a holding pattern.
San Francisco would love to deal Garoppolo but may have waiting out the market for too long, watching Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan and Deshaun Watson change teams. Now, there are few options for Garoppolo as a viable trade target, although three teams in the NFC — the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks — still make sense.
However, those teams all hold top-10 picks in the upcoming draft and could select a quarterback, albeit in a very weak class at the position. When a few of those teams either strike out or go in a different direction, Garoppolo becomes a much more attractive option come May.
And, frankly, he should be an attractive option. The 30-year-old has a 33-14 record in his eight-year career with the 49ers and New England Patriots, captaining San Francisco to a pair of NFC title games and one Super Bowl appearance over the previous three seasons. While he’s never thrown for 30 touchdowns or 4,000 yards in a season, Garoppolo is a capable quarterback who can win games on a decent roster, and certainly has the ability to raise the floor of a bad outfit.
If the Niners can find a trade partner in the next few weeks for Garoppolo, great. But it could take until a team misses on a target or two in the draft for San Francisco to regain a bit of leverage and feel good about making the move.