Deebo Samuel isn’t the only 49er who has been rumored as a potential trade option for teams. Remember Jimmy Garoppolo? He’s still on the roster. For how long remains to be seen.
The Athletic’s Jeff Howe reported that the Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers could consider a move for either Jimmy Garoppolo or Baker Mayfield. That trade could happen as soon as today:
The Panthers and Seahawks have remained in the mix in the veteran quarterback market throughout the offseason, and the Texans will likely explore their options with Garoppolo and Mayfield, according to a source. Of course, this all continues to hinge on the rest of the draft.
Howe said he expects the Panthers to be players for Mayfield, as Cleveland is prepared to pay part of Baker’s $18.86 million salary to facilitate a deal. San Francisco’s willingness to do the same could help Garoppolo’s market unless teams are turned off at the idea of a quarterback not being able to throw for another two months.
Since Carolina doesn’t have a selection on Day 2, the 49ers would have to accept a future pick. Nobody truly knows what the Niners are asking for in return for Garoppolo. Rumors have been consistent that it’s a second-round pick. That was before Jimmy’s surgery, though.
Howe added that Mayfield and Garoppolo would be one-year rentals as teams look ahead to the 2023 draft, where Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud are the top quarterbacks.
Howe mentioned the Seahawks, who own picks 40 and 41, as a possible destination. Seattle would have to view Garoppolo as an upgrade over Drew Lock and Geno Smith. That’s the easy part of the equation. The challenge would be trading within the division and gifting your rival a potential starter in exchange for a player they’ve been trying to get rid of for over a year.
Howe also threw out the Houston Texans, who pick at 37. Texans general manager Nick Caserio worked in New England when they drafted Garoppolo in the second round back in 2014. But how said that the 49ers asking price for Garoppolo has been too high:
But so far, the 49ers’ asking price for Garoppolo has been too high, according to a source.
The 49ers remain a wild card in the QB sweepstakes. While they’re motivated to move Garoppolo, they’re reluctant to trade him for a minimal return until they’re sure Trey Lance is ready to start in 2022. Lance must prove that throughout the offseason workout program, and the 49ers are prepared to carry Garoppolo into training camp if necessary. They know they’ve got a roster that can contend for an NFC Championship and don’t want to move Garoppolo until they’re sure of Lance’s readiness.
This goes back to the 49ers wanting to have their cake and eat it too. I get not wanting to move off of Garoppolo for a minimal return. But if Lance needs to prove himself during an offseason program, that’s not a good look.
The roster has been strong enough to win with average and sometimes below-average quarterback play in the past couple of seasons. Expecting Lance to come in and light the league on fire is naive. There will be inevitable miscues. That’s what happens when you draft a 21-year-old quarterback.
Leaving Garoppolo on the roster so Lance has to look over his shoulder feels like a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. The only way for Lance to get better is to play. He will have to go through adversity and hard times, just as every other player does, to improve.
Lance may not be ready by August, but with a few months of NFL action under his belt, the expectation should be that he’s world’s better come November. With steady improvement, you’ll have a competent quarterback with a high ceiling in time for the playoffs.