49ers news: Jimmy Garoppolo will be part of wild 2023 QB carousel

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

If the 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo thought last offseason’s quarterback movement was crazy, the 2023 offseason should be even wilder, and he’ll be included in it.

Last offseason, it was a reasonable assumption that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo would be traded at a time when it was good to be a team dishing out a quarterback.

After all, the 2021 free-agent market at the position was terrible, and that year’s NFL Draft offered few likable options to teams in need.

Instead, Garoppolo and the Niners found zero trade suitors, likely the byproduct of offseason shoulder surgery and what amounted to $27 million on the final year of the contract signed with San Francisco way back in 2018.

That led, of course, to Garoppolo staying put with the 49ers and ultimately seizing his starting job back once fellow quarterback Trey Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2.

Now, Garoppolo is on the mend after suffering a serious foot injury of his own that’ll likely end his tenure with the Niners. Sure, San Francisco could re-sign him. But Jimmy G, a pending free agent in 2023, isn’t going to return to the 49ers unless he’s all but guaranteed the starting job.

That’ll be a tall ask, given the Niners’ previous investment in Lance and the sudden emergence of rookie Brock Purdy.

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Garoppolo likely has zero interest in returning to San Francisco despite playing arguably his best season ever with the team before the aforementioned foot injury. After all, going through the awkwardness aside Lance over the last two offseasons has already set a tone, even if all parties involved have done an excellent job downplaying it.

Either way, if Garoppolo doesn’t have assurances of starting for the 49ers, he’ll go elsewhere.

And that’s where the Niners probably see things going, too.

San Francisco already has what’s turning into a budding offseason quarterback competition between Lance and Purdy, a battle between the 2021 No. 3 overall pick and the final selection of the 2022 draft.

Keeping both quarterbacks makes sense for the 49ers in the upcoming season, as they’ll make approximately $10.3 million combined, whereas Garoppolo could be looking for a contract in the range of $20 million annually.

Would the Niners want to commit to that? Probably not.

Jimmy Garoppolo will join a crazy quarterback carousel this offseason

If fans thought the 2022 offseason was wild at quarterback, watching movements like Russell Wilson going to the Denver Broncos, the Deshaun Watson saga, Baker Mayfield wanting to be on the move and much more, 2023 is likely to be even wilder.

The Niners won’t need a new quarterback, even if Jimmy G departs, so they can be crossed off the list of those potentially seeking a change under center.

However, as 49ers Webzone’s Al Sacco pointed out below, nearly half the league could be changing things up at the position during the offseason:

The New York Jets seem finished with Lance’s 2021 draft mate, Zach Wilson, while the Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will need to seek younger long-term options to replace Matt Ryan and Tom Brady, respectively.

Is Geno Smith the answer for the Seattle Seahawks after a Pro Bowl-level 2022 campaign? Or will the Hawks join teams like the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints who need established signal-callers?

Then, of course, things are getting weird between the Las Vegas Raiders, the Niners’ Week 17 opponent, and veteran quarterback Derek Carr. His benching for the game seems to be a pure indication that head coach Josh McDaniels and the franchise will want to finally move on from Carr after years of speculation.

Tack on one more quarterback who’ll be on the move.

All of this might not be good news for Garoppolo and his market, especially if it thins out once the offseason commences.

As for San Francisco, it can merely be happy it doesn’t have to worry about finding someone in 2023.

Particularly if Purdy continues to play well and Lance’s own development is pushed significantly.

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