Jimmy Garoppolo: Every team that ‘could’ target 49ers QB in 2022

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) /

The 49ers are all but certain to trade Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason, and there’s a long list of teams that could potentially be interested.

The San Francisco 49ers have to be feeling pretty good about their original plan to draft quarterback Trey Lance at No. 3 overall in 2021, then letting him sit behind veteran starter Jimmy Garoppolo for a full season, then moving Jimmy G via an offseason trade early in 2022.

That plan seems to have hit at the right moment. Garoppolo played well enough last season and into the playoffs (albeit, not great) to warrant a respectable trade package in return.

But the bigger factor at play is the reality the 2022 offseason quarterback market isn’t necessarily a good one.

With few likable options in free agency, and arguably even fewer in the NFL Draft, the market for Garoppolo this offseason is expected to be hotter than it otherwise would be in other years.

Again, great news for the Niners, who’ll look to recoup some of the draft assets used in last year’s trade for Lance.

Which teams are potentially in the market for Garoppolo, though?

Which NFL teams may trade for 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo in 2022?

A bidding war might be precisely what San Francisco will want. However, a few proverbial dominoes may need to fall first, primarily what could potentially happen with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, both of whom have been the subject of offseason trade rumors already.

Regardless, there are going to be more quarterback-needy teams this offseason than preferred signal-callers available in free agency or the draft, meaning any one of these teams could potentially be offering up a trade package for Garoppolo.

Miami Dolphins

Former 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel appears initially committed to Tua Tagovailoa, but would McDaniel want to have someone with whom he’s familiar in the wake of Tagovailoa’s up-and-down two-year NFL career?

Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger retired, yet the Steelers are poised to win now. Running back Najee Harris would openly welcome Jimmy G to Pittsburgh, too.

Cleveland Browns

The likely scenario is letting Baker Mayfield play out his fifth-year option for 2022, then the Browns can decide their future under center in a better QB market for 2023.

You never know, though, as Mayfield wasn’t good last season.

Indianapolis Colts

Colts general manager Chris Ballard’s comments about Carson Wentz weren’t exactly a glaring endorsement, and last year’s offseason trade for Wentz is looking more like a blown deal now.

Houston Texans

Few teams are in as big of shambles as the Texans, but someone like Garoppolo could provide much-needed stability at the sport’s most important position.

Is 2021 rookie Davis Mills the answer? That’s a decision general manager Nick Caserio, who’s familiar with Garoppolo from their days together with the New England Patriots, will have to make.

Las Vegas Raiders

It doesn’t seem likely the Raiders would want to move on from Derek Carr, who was instrumental in getting Las Vegas into the playoffs last season.

Perhaps new head coach Josh McDaniels wants to shake things up with an old friend, though.

Denver Broncos

Denver has all the pieces to be a playoff team aside from what’s been a six-year search for a good quarterback that hasn’t stopped since Peyton Manning retired.

San Francisco has a strong history of trading with the Broncos, too.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles appear satisfied enough with Jalen Hurts, but the question will loom whether or not he’s good enough to get Philly deep into the postseason amid a weak NFC East.

New York Giants

The Giants should consider moving on from Daniel Jones in the wake of the failed attempts to boost his play last year despite investing in all kinds of weaponry to support him.

It doesn’t appear as if Jones is in full danger amid a new coaching regime, though, but the G-Men do have two first-round picks at their disposal to outbid most other teams.

Washington Commanders

Washington has emerged as a late front-runner to trade for Jimmy G in 2022, and it seems plausible the 49ers engineer a first-round pick in return.

Minnesota Vikings

Perhaps the Vikings blow it all up and move Kirk Cousins this offseason, which would create quite the void.

Garoppolo might be only a marginal upgrade over Cousins, though, yet the rest of the NFC North is in flux.

Particularly if the Packers move on from Rodgers in favor of Jordan Love.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

In the wake of Tom Brady’s retirement, the Buccaneers still have a strong enough roster to dominate the scuffling NFC South, meaning they should act aggressively and not rely on 2021 rookie Kyle Trask.

New Orleans Saints

The Saints are a hot mess right now, especially in terms of being way over the 2022 salary cap and after watching head coach Sean Payton step away from football.

New Orleans probably can’t afford Garoppolo, but it’s still a team in need of a quarterbacking presence.

Carolina Panthers

Trading for Sam Darnold last offseason backfired badly, and trying to get a second run out of Cam Newton didn’t work either.

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons are probably wise enough to postpone their search for Matt Ryan’s replacement for at least another year. They don’t need to move on from him just yet, and it would be smarter to find a developmental-type quarterback in the NFL Draft instead.

Teams don’t always do the smart thing, though.

Seattle Seahawks

If Wilson stays, the point is moot. If Wilson goes, the Niners trading Garoppolo to the Seahawks would be the NFC West storyline for years.

Shortlist of teams wanting to trade for Jimmy Garoppolo

While possible, it seems highly unlikely the Falcons, Seahawks, Saints, Vikings, Raiders and Browns make a move for Garoppolo.

Teams like the Giants, Eagles and Dolphins could feasibly engineer a trade, but they don’t have to.

Instead, let’s focus on the desperate teams in absolute need of a quarterback: the Steelers, Commanders, Broncos, Panthers and Buccaneers.

San Francisco probably wants to do right by Garoppolo this offseason, so messier situations like the Texans and Panthers may not be totally plausible. That leaves Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington and Denver as bigger favorites.

Read More: What will 49ers get if they trade Jimmy Garoppolo?

Even though a good chunk of the teams has been eliminated from probability, a four-way race is still potent enough to create a bidding war from which the 49ers would benefit.

If anything, the Niners can thank such a weak offseason market for quarterbacks.

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