Wednesday marks the first “official” day of free agency. There are still Deshaun Watson rumors tied to the 49ers. NFL Network’s Jim Trotter, arguably the most credible reporter in the industry, put together a thread on Twitter that involved a scenario where Watson ends up in the Bay Area.
Trotter starts by saying the 49ers are not in on Watson. He says, for Watson to end up in San Francisco, Watson’s camp would have to tell the Texans the Niners are the only team he’d waive his no-trade clause for.
Trotter mentioned that Watson had expressed an interest in playing for the 49ers. However, the question always comes back to whether or not the Niners have enough assets. Trotter believes Watson would have to get the Texans to reconsider their demands.
Trey Lance is finding out what it’s like to be a 49ers quarterback. Trotter pointed out that the team is happy with Lance, isn’t looking to create drama, but would be “foolish” not to explore a Watson trade, especially if the quarterback falls in their laps.
Unlikely, and probably a year too late, but a situation to monitor. The best way to look at this is to treat Trotter’s thread as information. To me, it would signal a panic if the team moves on from Lance before ever giving him a shot. It wouldn’t be a great look for the 49ers organization — especially considering Watson’s off-the-field issues. But the blowback isn’t worth it.
What’s next for Jimmy?
On NFL Network Wednesday morning, Trotter said the Niners are in “no panic mode” when it comes to moving Garoppolo, and the team has no plans of releasing Jimmy.
Watson and Baker Mayfield will likely be on the move before Garoppolo. On Tuesday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said, “it seems a little far-fetched, I would say, to imagine a trade happens at any point soon.” Rapoport pointed out how the Steelers, who signed Mitchell Trubisky, were interested in Garoppolo, and the only team left with interest is the Colts, where there’s “nothing imminent there.”
The 49ers restructured Arik Armstead and George Kittle’s contract Wednesday morning. The team told us a Garoppolo trade isn’t on the horizon. It’s also a sign the team isn’t receiving the offers they had hoped for Jimmy.
By waiting until the draft, you’re hoping a team without a quarterback misses out on a player and gives you one of their Day 2 picks in return for Garoppolo — which feels unrealistic looking at the landscape of the NFL today.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero pointed out how Garoppolo could be an option for the Texans:
“There’s a relationship there with Nick Caserio, with Jimmy Garoppolo in New England. Keep that in mind, if some other things fall through, as a possibility at some point down the road.”
Finally, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo said the Niners might not have a choice to wait until the draft before connecting Garoppolo to the Raiders, where former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is the head coach:
“The 49ers are sitting there saying, ‘Yeah, we’d like to have this done quickly. We’re going to try to get it done quickly. But we’re not going to rush it. We’re going to take our time. So maybe it’s around the draft. Maybe it’s somewhere thereafter. Maybe they’re carrying Jimmy Garoppolo on the roster into the summer until the point where he’s cleared medically, he can throw, you can take a look at him and say, ‘OK, we’re comfortable with the shoulder.’
I know we were looking at this, saying it was going to be done early in the process in free agency and the start of the league year, but it could take some time.”
The more the national media talks about Garoppolo, the more I can’t help but think about depreciation. “Sell high” is the best motto when you want to move any asset. The longer the team holds onto Jimmy, the less likely they’ll be able to maximize his value. That is, of course, unless they run into a team that is desperate. All it takes is one.