The 49ers have no choice but to sign a quarterback during free agency, as Trey Lance and Brock Purdy are the only two under contract in 2023. And with Purdy projected to be on the shelf into August and after the start of training camp, there’s a need for a backup quarterback.
We ruled out a Jimmy Garoppolo return to San Francisco based on Kyle Shanahan’s tone during his season-ending press conference. But just because the Niners aren’t interested in Garoppolo’s services doesn’t mean others won’t be.
This will be the final season we have a chance to sift through potential landing spots for Jimmy. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport was on KNBR earlier in the week, saying the Jets are an option if Aaron Rodgers decides he wants to play elsewhere:
“I would say for the Jets, like a lot of teams, Aaron Rodgers is going to be the first option. If [Rodgers] decides that he wants to go to the Jets, they’ll certainly be his number one.
There are going to be some other really good teams that are interested in Jimmy. I would say the Bucs would be, although I don’t know if they have the money. The Panthers, the Titans, maybe the Raiders if they decide to spend on a quarterback. Although, Jarrett Stidham was pretty good, so if the options are Jimmy Garoppolo for $30 million or Jarrett Stidham, that’s actually an interesting discussion ’cause you can use the money elsewhere.”
Rapoport viewed Garoppolo as QB3 in the market behind Aaron Rodgers and Derek Carr. Tampa Bay and New England make sense for Garoppolo, but it all comes back to how other teams value him.
If you’re the 49ers, you hope some team signs Garoppolo to a lucrative contract, that way you end up with another compensatory pick next season. For the 49ers to receive a comp pick, Jimmy has to sign a deal before May 1 that’s ranked within the top 35 percent of all league players. That’s going to happen if he’s QB3 on the open market, even if Jimmy is coming off another season-ending injury.
Garoppolo may not receive $30 million, but he’ll be in the top 35 percent, which means another draft pick for the 49ers.