With the NFL Draft come and gone, Jimmy Garoppolo remains with the 49ers. But the folks over at Bleacher Report feels the time to trade him is now.
It’s still hard to envision a scenario where the San Francisco 49ers have rostered quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo by the time Week 1 rolls around this season.
If that’s the case, Garoppolo will assuredly have to take some sort of massive pay cut entering the final year of his contract, as the Niners simply don’t have the cap space, currently, to sign their 2022 NFL Draft class.
After spending most of the offseason trying to move him, San Francisco has yet to find a suitor, perhaps because general manager John Lynch and Co. were asking too high a trade price or because Garoppolo’s offseason surgery to repair an injured shoulder was a massive deterrent.
Maybe a bit of both.
At any rate, the 49ers’ most recent opportunity, the 2022 draft, didn’t offer any other avenues by which Jimmy G could be moved.
However, there’s still a context that could play itself out for a would-be trade, and it’s something Alex Kay over at Bleacher Report suggested should happen in a breakdown of trades that need to take place with the draft in the rearview mirror.
Jimmy Garoppolo trade to Panthers is back on
The Carolina Panthers took a quarterback in the draft, grabbing Ole Miss’ Matt Corral in Round 3 at No. 94 overall. But the 2022 draft class was awfully thin and weak with prospective signal-callers, and there’s just as good a chance Corral doesn’t cut it as there is him working out and providing a long-term option to finally replace Carolina’s current starter, Sam Darnold.
Darnold needs to be replaced. That much is known. But with head coach Matt Rhule entering 2022 squarely on the hot seat, one could figure an emergency fix is what’s needed.
That’s where Kay suggested the Niners and Panthers make a deal, Carolina getting Garoppolo in exchange for the Panthers’ 2023 second-round NFL Draft pick:
"Unfortunately, Carolina doesn’t have a suitable signal-caller for its revamped line to protect. Sam Darnold is the only experienced option under contract at this juncture, but the 24-year-old struggled in his first season with the club before suffering a significant shoulder injury.The team also picked up Matt Corral in the third round, but the Ole Miss prospect will need some time to hone his craft before becoming ready to start.Garoppolo could serve as a bridge quarterback and capable starter who could have the Panthers competing for their first postseason appearance since 2017."
The Panthers, with over $30 million in available cap space, are one of the few teams that could afford Garoppolo’s $25.5 million post-trade cap hit, and he’s surely an upgrade over Darnold. Even though this would-be San Francisco-Carolina suggested deal isn’t anything new, the landscape has since changed in the days following the draft.
Interestingly enough, Kay also mentioned another potential Panthers quarterbacking trade target, still-Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, yet B/R’s trade suggestion had Mayfield going to the Houston Texans in another deal instead.
Carolina appeared to have cooled on the Mayfield front, as evidenced by what transpired during the draft.
The 49ers may have missed their chance to capitalize on 2022 draft picks by moving Garoppolo, but they’ll surely entertain the idea of restocking the coffers in 2023.
Should the Panthers decide to bite, of course.