While the quarterback carousel is slowing down somewhat, the 49ers still need to offload Jimmy Garoppolo somehow, and Baker Mayfield will impact any move.
Fans are an impatient bunch, a simple check of any social media in existence will confirm that in any given NFL free agency period.
If a team doesn’t spend the first 24 hours signing up 15 free agents, they regard it as a waste of time right off the back.
In a similar vein, it’s not too uncommon to see San Francisco 49ers fans frustrated by the inability of the team to move on from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo despite a good market to do so.
The simple answer is the Niners wanted to get the best possible deal and were happy to wait for the bigger quarterbacks to go off the market, but the Niners then overplayed their hand by making the demands too high, and they’re now faced with a small market.
It basically boils down to the Seattle Seahawks or the Carolina Panthers. The 49ers are extremely unlikely to ship Garoppolo to a divisional rival, so that leaves the Panthers.
It wouldn’t be so bad, but the Deshaun Watson trade between the Houston Texans and Cleveland Browns has introduced Baker Mayfield to the quarterback marketplace.
Garoppolo has accomplished a lot more than Mayfield has, but Mayfield would be cheaper for a team and has more untapped potential. A team might prefer Garoppolo if it wants results right away, but a more patient approach may have it take Mayfield.
The obvious best-case scenario for San Francisco would be for Mayfield to go to Seattle and leave Carolina for a potential Garoppolo trade. It would need the Panthers to be willing to go all-in to find a quarterback rather than go via the NFL Draft, but they have shown they want to go the veteran route amid a very underwhelming quarterback class.
There’s one more domino to fall, and it may very well be what determines if the 49ers are forced to cut Garoppolo instead of getting back a haul of draft picks for him.