The Colts reportedly have interest in 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and it would make sense for him to wind up in Indianapolis.
At the time this is being written, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is still a member of the San Francisco 49ers.
And he will be, at least up until the start of the league new year on March 16. Should the Niners agree to trade Garoppolo, it won’t become official until that point.
There have been a number of deals that have already been agreed upon impacting the trade market for Garoppolo. The Denver Broncos are acquiring soon-to-be former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, and then the Indianapolis Colts are shipping quarterback Carson Wentz off to the Washington Commanders.
The former deal was the bigger blockbuster, yes. But it’s Indy’s move that influences what San Francisco might do with Garoppolo.
Not long after the Wentz deal was announced, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport broke down how Indianapolis was now becoming a front-runner for Garoppolo’s services:
On the surface, it would be fair to wonder if a 30-year-old Garoppolo with a notable injury history (coming off both a thumb and shoulder sprain suffered last year) would actually be an upgrade over Wentz.
But, according to ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky, the Colts weren’t exactly enamored with Wentz’s leadership. Right there, should Garoppolo be traded, Indy would be getting a player essentially everyone in the 49ers locker room respected and liked being around.
Jimmy Garoppolo should be well-received in Colts locker room
Garoppolo wouldn’t be a complete stranger to everyone if Indianapolis acquired him. He’d already have one former teammate, former Niners defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, who was previously a captain and locker-room leader in San Francisco.
Buckner and Garoppolo were always featured in 49ers postgame interviews with the press, and Buckner rarely shied away from praising his quarterback then.
There’s little reason to suggest anything would change now, albeit in a completely different venue.
If anything, Buckner could easily vouch for Garoppolo, highlighting the quarterback’s persona and strengths rather than focusing and worrying about his limitations as a player.
And as far as those go, there are still other reasons why the Colts should feel a bit better about landing Jimmy G.
Colts would be a good fit for Jimmy Garoppolo
The team acquiring Wentz, the Commanders, were surely high up on the list of squads that could have potentially traded for Garoppolo. Washington, however, doesn’t exactly have the best reputation as a franchise (at least from the very top levels), and long-standing tensions between owner Dan Snyder and head coach Kyle Shanahan could have been just part of the reasons why the Niners wouldn’t want to send Jimmy G there.
Perhaps Garoppolo’s camp had no desire for him to be traded there either, hence the Commanders going in a different direction.
The AFC is stacked with quarterbacks now, including Wilson going to Denver, and one can fairly question whether or not a Garoppolo-led Colts team could compete in the playoffs against the Broncos now, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, the Buffalo Bills with Josh Allen, the Cincinnati Bengals with Joe Burrow and many more.
Yet the AFC South, Indy’s division, is still notably weak. Indianapolis should, by all accounts, be able to compete fully with the division’s only other legitimate contender, the Tennessee Titans, with Garoppolo now in tow.
Additionally, not unlike San Francisco, Indianapolis boasts a stout offensive line and has a run-first offense with All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor. Head coach Frank Reich, a quality offensive mind, wouldn’t have to rely on Garoppolo tossing the ball 30-plus times in a game. No, Garoppolo would still have the ability to find success as a high-level game-managing quarterback.
No, it might not be the longest of long-term solutions for the Colts, but pulling in Garoppolo sure would make a lot of sense.