49ers news: 5 possible trade partners for Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers Trade Partner No. 3: Pittsburgh Steelers

On the surface, the Pittsburgh Steelers seem like the ideal trade partner with whom the 49ers could do business.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is cooked and arguably should have retired two years ago. While Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t exactly known for having a cannon-like arm, Roethlisberger’s pass attempts of 5-plus yards have turned into an embarrassment for much of the season. What’s worse, Roethlisberger and a lackluster offensive line are holding back a slew of other top pass-catching weapons, and the entire offense has suffered as a result.

With a Super Bowl-caliber defense in the folds and just needing some modestly improved quarterbacking, a Garoppolo-to-Pittsburgh deal has some merit.

Two things, though.

First, the Steelers have just under $11 million in cap space this season, although they’d be able to afford Jimmy G’s 2022 cap hit without issue. Up front, though, it would take some serious cap jockeying to fit Garoppolo’s deal within the coffers.

Second, and probably even more difficult to maneuver around, Pittsburgh isn’t likely to jettison Roethlisberger, a future Hall of Famer, off the roster prematurely even though that would be the smart thing to do in consideration for a playoff berth. No, the Steelers will want to let Roethlisberger ride out the rest of the season no matter the results.

That shouldn’t stop the Niners from trying, though.