Jimmy Garoppolo NFL Draft trade partner No. 2: Atlanta Falcons
Considering how tough the AFC is going to be this season and for the foreseeable future, a stopgap option like Jimmy Garoppolo may not appease the Texans. They may instead look at a foundational rebuild first, then worry about a signal-caller later.
The NFC, meanwhile, is a much easier conference to compete in, and the NFC South is wide open aside from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers getting quarterback Tom Brady out of retirement after only a few short weeks.
Sure, the Atlanta Falcons engineered two major transactions here, sending quarterback Matt Ryan away to the Indianapolis Colts while eating $40.5 million in dead money to do so. This was followed by a free-agent pickup of former Las Vegas Raiders backup Marcus Mariota, which at least seems to signal the Falcons are no longer on the quarterback market.
In an ideal world, Atlanta would use its top pick in the 2022 NFL Draft on a prospect quarterback, perhaps the likes of Liberty’s Malik Willis. At No. 8 overall, though, it’s just as possible Willis doesn’t fall that far, and some of the other backup plans fall through, too, meaning the Falcons are stuck with Mariota for 2022.
That’s not terrible in itself, aside from the fact Mariota has quite the extensive injury history.
The Niners may have to absorb some of Garoppolo’s contract, or the Falcons may have to immediately restructure a deal to take on Jimmy G’s deal because of cap issues.
Either way, Atlanta can’t be solely content on Mariota, meaning a Garoppolo deal involving San Francisco trading up from Round 5 into Round 3 should be on the discussion table.