Why Jimmy Garoppolo struggles to find a new team in 2023

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The 49ers tried moving Jimmy Garoppolo a year ago via trade but couldn’t. Now a free agent, Garoppolo isn’t necessarily going to be a sought-after player.

It’s a reasonable conclusion that soon-to-be ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will have a much easier time finding a new team in 2023 than he did a year ago back when the Niners were actively looking to trade him.

After all, Garoppolo is a free agent this offseason. No team wishing to acquire his services has to make a deal with San Francisco that’d send off trade capital while absorbing Jimmy G’s contract.

On top of that, Garoppolo didn’t just undergo shoulder surgery that reportedly derailed the 49ers’ efforts to trade him, as was the case during the 2022 offseason.

So, Garoppolo should have no trouble finding a new home, right?


Well, not exactly. In fact, it might be just as tough (if not tougher) for Garoppolo to latch on with a new team, especially a long-term deal.

Jimmy Garoppolo still has an injury reputation

Combined with having to take on his 2022 contract, that shoulder injury last offseason was enough to deter potential suitors from trading for Garoppolo.

Now, Garoppolo is dealing with a foot injury suffered in Week 13 during the regular season, one which led to rookie quarterback Brock Purdy taking over and becoming quite the phenom on an invigorated 49ers offense.

The two combined, Garoppolo’s stock value can’t be higher than it was a year ago, right?

At least that’s what Sports Illustrated’s Jose Luis Sanchez wrote:

"Any team considering signing him has to acknowledge that 2022 is yet another year that he wasn’t able to finish due to injury. This is who he is. Whether he is fragile or just a product of bad luck, the reality is that he gets injured and will more likely than not miss games. …Plus, there is a case to be made that Purdy hurt Garoppolo’s market. As soon as Purdy took over as the starter for the 49ers, the offense took a massive step forward. Their passing attack came alive for the first time under [Kyle] Shanahan and ended up scoring eight more points per game with Purdy."

Bingo. Garoppolo has now missed significant time with the Niners because of injuries in 2018, 2020 and now 2022. And San Francisco’s offense was better with Purdy under center, too.

Will that sound attractive for a quarterback-needy team?

Probably not, and it’d be worse if the quarterback market isn’t working in Jimmy G’s favor, which it appears to be.

Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t benefit from 2023 quarterback market

The Las Vegas Raiders just released quarterback Derek Carr. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers could be on the move. Perhaps the Baltimore Ravens place the franchise tag on their MVP quarterback, Lamar Jackson, before trading him.

Now, according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, even the Chicago Bears could move on from the up-and-coming Justin Fields:

Others, such as Jacoby Brissett, Geno Smith and Baker Mayfield, are also going to be candidates for teams looking at mid-tier quarterbacking options.

As FanSided NFL insider Matt Verderame regularly points out, the two teams out there should either be comprised of those who have elite quarterbacks or are actively looking for them.

While plenty of teams settle on quarterbacking mediocrity, Garoppolo falls squarely into that category, and there are plenty of other “mid” signal-callers out there.

Read More: Jimmy Garoppolo headlines 49ers’ list of pending free agents

Sanchez also pointed out that a diluted market could impact Garoppolo’s stock for teams, coaches and executives familiar with him. This could apply to head coach Josh McDaniels and the Raiders, and it could also mean the same with the Houston Texans, who not only have Garoppolo’s former associate with the New England Patriots, general manager Nick Caserio, but also first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans.

Just because McDaniels, Caserio and Ryans have worked with Garoppolo doesn’t make him a lock to land with their respective teams.

Will Garoppolo find a new squad in 2023? Most definitely, yes.

But it might not be immediate when NFL free agency begins on March 15, and it almost assuredly won’t be a significant long-term deal either.

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