The new NFL league year begins in a little more than a month, but the excitement is already here for the offseason.
This year’s quarterback market is unprecedented, with several starters from 2020 who could be wearing a different uniform next season. The Detroit Lions have already sent Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for Jared Goff and draft picks. We could also see some more significant trades over the next few months involving more quarterbacks.
Deshaun Watson remains the best of the bunch. The 25-year-old has officially requested a trade from the Houston Texans, who are adamant that they will not trade Watson anytime soon. Watson holds a no-trade clause, so we could see a long stalemate between the two parties.
The New York Jets and new head coach Robert Saleh hold the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft and could move on from 2018 third overall pick, Sam Darnold.
San Francisco seems content moving forward with current starter Jimmy Garoppolo but has been linked to virtually every quarterback on the market since the season ended.
The betting lines for where some QBs will land this offseason have the Niners listed as options.
Here are where oddsmakers have the 49ers in the running for Watson (courtesy of Bovada):
PreDolphins and Jets +350
Raiders andPatriots +1400
For Darnold (courtesy of Draft Kings):
Panthers and Texans +500
49ers and WFT +1100
Saints and Steelers +1400
Bovada also has odds up for where Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz will play in 2021.
Wilson — who voiced his displeasure with the Seahawks’ ability to protect him on the field — is a long-shot to be moved. Bovada has him staying in Seattle as the most likely outcome and has San Francisco listed at +2200.
Prescott has been at an impasse with the Dallas Cowboys regarding his contract situation for more than a year. Bovada has him at -1000 to re-sign with the Cowboys while the Niners come in at +2000. The 49ers aren’t listed among the teams who have the best odds to land Wentz.
The most likely scenario is that Garoppolo will be the starter in 2021. BetMGM has odds available on where Jimmy G will play next season, and it’s no surprise to see San Francisco as the favorite:
Let’s not forget that oddsmakers had the 49ers as the favorites to land Stafford and had the Rams way down the list prior to the trade:
Odds for what team Matthew Stafford will be on for Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season (Bovada):— Odds Shark (@OddsShark) January 27, 2021
It would take a massive haul to get Watson out of Houston, while Darnold won’t net nearly as much in any trade. Matt Maiocco of NBC Bay Area wrote an interesting piece about why no current player on the Niners roster should be untouchable when it comes to landing a franchise QB.
Maiocco is well plugged-in with the 49ers and says not even Nick Bosa, George Kittle or Fred Warner should be off-limits. The chances are that one of them would have to be included with some high draft picks to land a talent like Watson.
As of now, Garoppolo returning is listed as the favorite with good reason. San Francisco will still be in a position to contend with all of the high-end talents around him on the roster. We saw Jimmy G lead a healthy squad to a 13-3 finish in 2019 and be within seven minutes of winning the Super Bowl.
But if John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan decide they’re willing to try and meet the asking price for Watson, it should make for an interesting few weeks.
What do you think would be a fair trade proposal to land Watson? Who would you be willing to part with out of Bosa, Kittle or Warner, if it meant Watson would be the 49ers’ QB for the next decade?