Jimmy Garoppolo On Texans’ Radar

Potentially in place as the Jets’ post-Derek Carr backup plan to Aaron Rodgers and looming as a possible Raiders option, Jimmy Garoppolo will likely be connected to other suitors. Another AFC team stands to be in the mix for the five-plus-year 49ers passer.

Some among the Texans are behind adding Garoppolo and pairing him with a rookie quarterback, Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports notes. DeMeco Ryans brought some former 49ers assistants to Houston, including ex-San Francisco pass-game coordinator Bobby Slowik as OC, so Texans-Garoppolo connections should be expected. The team also hovers near the top of the league in cap space, holding $40MM-plus as of Wednesday morning. Slowik confirmed Wednesday (via the Houston Chronicle’s Brooks Kubena, on Twitter) the team is looking into Garoppolo.

The Texans make some sense as a Garoppolo fit, given the 49ers ties and GM Nick Caserio‘s Patriots past. The team was connected to the 49ers trade chip during the draft last year. But the Texans also still profile as a rebuilding team. Garoppolo, 31, will likely pursue a winning situation in his first crack at free agency. A team that also is not planning to immediately draft a quarterback would seemingly appeal to the 10th-year veteran. Garoppolo is exiting a situation in which the 49ers kept him onboard as a bridge option.

But if Rodgers does end up on the Jets and the Raiders commit to a first-round pick with a cheaper veteran gatekeeper, Garoppolo’s options would narrow. Teams like the Falcons, Commanders, Panthers and Buccaneers have QB issues, with none in immediate position to add at the position in Round 1. The Falcons hold the second-most cap space, at $66.4MM, as well. The Commanders discussed a deal for Garoppolo in 2022, but Ron Rivera has said the team is not looking to spend as much at the position this year. The Bucs are at the bottom in cap space, and the Panthers are one of the teams mentioned as a trade-up candidate in Round 1.

Garoppolo landing in Houston with Ryans and Slowik would inject some familiarity into his third NFL destination, though the team coming off three-, four- and four-win seasons since 2020 will not help its cause. The Texans hold the Nos. 2 and 12 overall picks and will be connected to QBs up until the draft. They also profile as a team willing to trade up for a passer. Garoppolo coming in would put the Texans in better position to stand pat rather than send the Bears assets to make sure no QB-needy team outflanks them.

Additionally, the Texans did not seem too close on a deal that would accommodate Brandin Cooks‘ wishes, Jeff Howe of The Athletic writes (subscription required). Cooks has a standing trade request in place since before last year’s trade deadline. A few teams are interested, and with Tee Higgins and Keenan Allen being taken off the trade market, the values of Cooks and DeAndre Hopkins would go up. Cooks being moved would not make the Texans’ pass catcher situation particularly attractive, but the team is on track to have John Metchie back and should be expected to make other moves at the position if/once a Cooks trade commences.

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