The rumor mill has kept on churning when it comes to what the San Francisco 49ers will do with Jimmy Garoppolo.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler did a hit on Sports Center Sunday morning and said it would take landing a talent like Deshaun Watson for San Francisco to move on from Garoppolo (h/t Bleacher Report’s Tyler Conway):
“I’m told San Fran is looking at potential upgrades, but they still like Jimmy G. He’s 24-9 as a starter, including the playoffs, with the Niners. They believe they can win with him, but it would take a big swing, like a Deshaun Watson effect here, to make that change. And I’m told that the 49ers are one of the teams that Watson’s at least intrigued by. A source said, ‘Which quarterback wouldn’t want to be in that offense on that team with all those weapons and Kyle Shanahan?’ So always a possibility, but the Texans have made clear they’re not willing to deal Watson right now. Garoppolo’s still a viable option for San Fran.”
It’s interesting to hear that Watson is intrigued by playing for the 49ers, but as Fowler mentions, Houston Texans’ GM Nick Caserio is adamant that he is not trading the 25-year-old quarterback.
Garoppolo has proven he can help lead a dominant team as he did with the 2019 Niners squad that went 13-3 and made it to the Super Bowl.
Almost every NFL team would love to have Watson on the roster, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan are doing their homework on him.
But the most likely scenario is that Jimmy G will be the starter next season. It will be a make-or-break campaign for Garoppolo, whose cap hit is $26.4 for 2021. The 29-year-old only started six games last season, completing 67.1 percent of his passes for 1,096 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions.
Health has been the most significant issue when it comes to Jimmy G. He has missed 23 games since being traded to San Francisco during the 2017 season. If he’s unable to stay on the field next season, then the 49ers would almost certainly move on next year.
It feels like trading for someone like Kirk Cousins would be a lateral move at this point, so sticking with Garoppolo makes sense. Jimmy G had a 69.1 completion percentage in his only full season, throwing for 3,978 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions.
It looks like the Watson situation isn’t getting resolved anytime soon. He has officially requested a trade and could play hardball by not reporting for Texans’ training camp, but that is still months from now.
Houston would ask for the farm if it does agree to move Watson. Unless the Niners are willing to pay a very high price, it looks like Garoppolo will be under center to start next season.