Divisional trades are rare, but trading quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the rival Seattle Seahawks makes a lot of sense right now.
To suggest the San Francisco 49ers should engineer a trade with a hated NFC West divisional rival such as the Seattle Seahawks is going to be a bit of a controversial opinion.
And honestly, there are going to be fans who wouldn’t give so much as an empty water bottle to them. It’s a valid opinion, if not necessarily logical.
But from a logical standpoint, it stands to reason the only team the Niners may now get some NFL Draft capital from via trade for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo might now be the Seahawks, this stemming off the back of a rumored trade being negotiated between the Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers for Baker Mayfield.
Unfortunately for San Francisco, the market has just not been there for Garoppolo. The team wants to fully move on and focus on the Trey Lance era, and the longer a Jimmy G deal takes means the more of a distraction it becomes for the team.
With other teams looking elsewhere for veteran signal-callers, the only two teams that still need a veteran quarterback for their rosters are the Panthers and the Seahawks. With Carolina seemingly decided on pursuing Mayfield, that leaves only Seattle, which is looking for a veteran to challenge former Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock.
49ers trading Jimmy Garoppolo to Seahawks works for both teams
Teams are often reluctant to trade to a divisional rival because nobody wants to be responsible for them getting stronger.
But this trade would be an exception to this rule as it would be mutually beneficial.
The 49ers get at least a little draft capital back and don’t have to release Garoppolo, and they also get his salary off their books ($25.5 million in a post-trade amount), while the Seahawks finally get their veteran quarterback. Garoppolo would be only a spot starter, maybe even a backup, and his deficiencies will be well known by the Niners coaching staff anyway, so the prospect of this backfiring is very unlikely.
It might be hard to stomach, and maybe San Francisco can still get the Panthers into a mutually beneficial trade if the Browns are reluctant to trade Mayfield, possibly due to the ongoing lawsuits surrounding current starting quarterback Deshaun Watson, but it seems more likely than not the Seahawks are now the only team left standing where the 49ers can get a bit of a return for Garoppolo.
Better to get something than nothing.