Jimmy Garoppolo employer No. 4: Panthers
Perhaps the only legitimate destination for Jimmy Garoppolo in 2022 would be the Carolina Panthers, who were one of the many teams in on the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes but came away empty-handed, meaning they’re going to roll into the upcoming year with Sam Darnold as QB1.
That’s not exactly a recipe for on-the-hot-seat head coach Matt Rhule to keep his job.
Sure, Carolina added Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral in Round 3 of the draft, and one could almost make a strong case the Panthers would be wiser to turn to him if Darnold flames out, which wouldn’t be surprising. However, a collegiate scout told Niner Noise that Corral’s ceiling is no bigger than a high-quality backup and nothing more, meaning Corral isn’t exactly poised to give Carolina any edge in a fairly wide-open Wild Card race within the NFC.
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The Panthers were also reportedly interested in the quarterback Watson is replacing in Cleveland, Baker Mayfield, which could have a direct impact on Garoppolo’s future. But any smoke emanating from that possibility appears to have dissipated, meaning the Panthers’ search remains open.
Most likely, at least.
Yet Carolina has the cap space to absorb Garoppolo and the roster need.
It might not take much for the Panthers to acquire Garoppolo at this point in the offseason either, provided the Niners start to act a bit more out of desperation.