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Gold Standard: What happens next with Jimmy Garoppolo?

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Now that Baker Mayfield has been traded to the Panthers, both Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers may be left without a seat in the game of quarterback musical chairs. On today’s Gold Standard podcast, Levin Black and I discussed what happens next and whether the team botched the Garoppolo exit strategy.

In terms of trade partners, it appears that the Seahawks are the last remaining option. Cleveland is still possible, of course, but not likely at this point. Of course, there could always be a team without a long-term QB in the mix (like the Giants), but it would be a bit of a surprise at this point. Levin pointed out that Seattle will probably just sit and wait to see if Garoppolo is released rather than give assets to a division rival, but then he said something I disagreed with.

“If he’s a free agent, Jimmy isn’t going to sign a one year contract. I seriously doubt that. He’s going to be looking for a multi-year deal. I don’t see Jimmy going to Seattle and trying to play with a dumpster fire to earn his way to another contract. If he goes to Seattle, it’s because Seattle ponied up multiple years worth of money.”

I had the complete opposite opinion. A one-year deal could be the perfect way to secure another big contract. I could easily see Garoppolo going to Seattle for 2022 (either via trade or free agency) and trying to rebuild his market value. What better way to do it than by spending a season chucking the ball to two outstanding wide receivers in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett? Then, hopefully, he finishes the year healthy and hits the open market in 2023.

Regardless, it certainly appears at the moment like the Niners aren’t going to be able to maximize their return for Jimmy G. Even if a trade does get worked out before the season, it’s highly unlikely they’ll get more for Garoppolo than they would have had they traded him at earlier opportunities (like after 2019’s Super Bowl appearance). Throw in the fact that they ended up not being able to use at least $18.5 million in free agency, and the end of the Garoppolo era gets even more painful.

There is no more difficult transition in sports than the move from one quarterback to another. What’s surprising about this situation is that, unlike quarterback changes, this one seemingly took place in slow motion. Even over multiple seasons, the 49ers couldn’t maximize their return. Now that the Panthers are off the board, Kyle Shanahan and company are left with few options, and none of them are as good as what could have been.

Other topics from today’s show

  • Baker Mayfield is going to Carolina - what happens with Jimmy G. now? (2:23)
  • Should Garoppolo want a one-year or long-term deal with a new team? (6:35)
  • Did the 49ers botch the Jimmy G. exit? (9:57)
  • Calling out Kyle Brandt for his 49ers take (16:23)
  • One Jimmy G. stat that bodes well for Trey Lance (21:40)
  • CBS Sports puts out dumb roster rankings (25:29)
  • Nick Bosa ranked as 3rd best edge rusher in the NFL (31:11)
  • Rob’s bone to pick with Levin over the Deebo Samuel autograph “controversy” (39:23)