Predicting where Jimmy Garoppolo wants to go if 49ers trade him

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Jimmy Garoppolo, Carolina Panthers
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 4: Jimmy Garoppolo to the Carolina Panthers

If you’re Jimmy Garoppolo, you could potentially be a bit leery at the Carolina Panthers firing offensive coordinator Joe Brady amid a 5-7 start to the season that had so much promise.

That could be the last straw before head coach Matt Rhule also gets his own plug pulled, creating some uncertainty for this next potential destination. But you understand a few clear things here, including the fact Rhule has generally been successful rebuilding programs wherever he’s gone, and it might only take a brief kickstart again before Carolina returns to being competitive.

Oh, and having a (hopefully) healthy running back in Christian McCaffrey returning in 2022 sure sounds enticing, too.

If Rhule is gone, though, you’re aware the Panthers aren’t going to commit to Cam Newton long term and surely are giving up on their offseason pickup from 2021, Sam Darnold, meaning you’d be pegged as the surefire starter, joining a squad that has McCaffrey to spark the ground game, along with a top-10 defense.

Sounds like your prime 49ers days, right?

Carolina has nearly $30 million in cap space and a talented enough roster to compete in a bad NFC South, and your former Patriots teammate, Tom Brady, isn’t going to keep the Tampa Bay Buccaneers atop the division forever.

In 2022, at least, you’ll relish the opportunity to face him twice on the field.