Jimmy Garoppolo

49ers Fine With Jimmy Garoppolo Starting Two More Seasons

Despite being in trade rumors going into the draft, Jimmy Garoppolo remains a 49er. The soon-to-be 30-year-old quarterback now looks set, with the team having drafted North Dakota State one-year starter Trey Lance, to enter another season as San Francisco’s starting quarterback.

The 49ers are also not shutting the door on Garoppolo keeping his job into 2022. While this would be highly unusual for a modern first-round QB, especially one the 49ers traded two future first-round picks for, CEO Jed York said the Garoppolo-in-2022 scenario has come up at team headquarters.

We’ve talked about this internally,” York said during an appearance on 49ers Talk with Matt Maiocco and Laura Britt (via NBC Sports). “If we’re in a situation where Jimmy goes out and takes us to a Super Bowl again and has an MVP-caliber season, and does it again, there are worse dilemmas to be in. And Jimmy certainly has the ability to do that.

“Knowing it’s the most important position in sports, and it’s great to have a guy that you do believe in and has gotten you to a Super Bowl. So you don’t have to put the weight of the world on a rookie, whoever it was we were going to choose.”

Few first-round quarterbacks since the Packers’ Brett Favre-to-Aaron Rodgers transition have failed to take over starting jobs as rookies, let alone second-year passers. In every non-Rodgers case, a first-round pick having failed to seize the job by Year 2 signaled a bust. Garoppolo sat for three-plus seasons behind Tom Brady, but the Patriots selected him in the 2014 second round. Garoppolo piloted the 49ers to Super Bowl LIV, throwing 27 touchdown passes in 2019, but has been unreliable from a health standpoint since coming to San Francisco. This led to the team trading up for Lance.

The 49ers would save $25.6MM by moving on from Garoppolo in 2022, which still should be considered the likely scenario. Garoppolo’s salary remaining on the books will prevent the 49ers from capitalizing on a rookie QB contract, which has become a valuable roster-building tool since the 2011 CBA reshaped rookie deals. Lance only attempted 318 passes in college, declaring for the draft ahead of his COVID-19-nixed sophomore season.

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49ers Will Not Ask Jimmy Garoppolo To Take Paycut

Jimmy Garoppolo may not be with the 49ers beyond the 2021 season — if he makes it that far — but he will not be asked to take a pay cut or restructure his contract. GM John Lynch was clear on that point, as Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle writes.

Of course, Lynch just selected Trey Lance with the No. 3 overall pick in the draft. While we have known ever since the 49ers traded a king’s ransom to the Dolphins to acquire that pick that they would use it on a QB, San Francisco brass has also implied that Garoppolo would be the starter at least to open the season while the rookie passer gets his feet wet at the professional level.

Branch, however, suggests that Lance could take the reins right away, meaning that the 49ers would be paying their backup a $24.2MM salary, to go along with a $27MM cap charge. But Lynch and team ownership have no issue with that proposition.

“I think it’s a testament to the commitment of our ownership,” Lynch said. “When this process was going on, that’s a question that we asked. We arrived at a point where that was our preference: to draft a quarterback and keep Jimmy, provided that someone didn’t come and just completely blow us way (with a trade offer). And they gave us that commitment. Yeah, we could do that. And we’re happy to have that situation right now. Because we believe it’s a very strong one.”

The 49ers do have the cap space to make it work. As Branch notes, San Francisco currently has $18.2MM of room, and while the club still has to sign its eight-man draft class and work out an extension for LB Fred Warner, that shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

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QB Rumors: Patriots, Raiders, Lock, Love

If the Patriots do not opt to make a trade up for one of this draft’s top five quarterback prospects, or if none falls to New England at No. 15, the team could conceivably turn to Jimmy Garoppolo. The Pats, of course, sent Garoppolo to the 49ers nearly four years ago and have a need at quarterback — the Cam Newton re-signing notwithstanding. Tom Brady‘s former backup appears to be on New England’s radar. While a Thursday-morning report indicated Garoppolo is likely to stay put, some in the Patriots organization are wondering if San Francisco will realize keeping Garoppolo and the quarterback it selects at No. 3 overall tonight will not make sense, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com notes. The Patriots would figure to be at or near the top of Jimmy G’s wishlist, given his familiarity with Josh McDaniels‘ system. Garoppolo has a no-trade clause, giving him say in where he is dealt — if/when he is traded.

On a rather big day for the position, here is the latest from the QB world:

  • Jon Gruden has met with a few of this year’s top quarterback prospects, per Albert Breer of SI.com. Teams were permitted to conduct virtual meetings with an unlimited number of virtual prospects this year, with the pandemic still nixing “30” visits. Perennially linked to aiming for a Derek Carr upgrade, the Raiders have scouted QBs in this class. They have also discussed potential trade-ups from No. 17, Breer adds. Carr is going into Year 4 with Gruden, and although he has played well, the Las Vegas HC has been known to covet other passers from time to time.
  • If the Broncos pull the trigger on a quarterback at No. 9 or trade up from that position to snag one, Breer notes Drew Lock would be expected to go on the trade block as soon as Friday. The Broncos would certainly not recoup a second-rounder for their former second-round QB choice, but Breer notes the Vikings and Panthers would be teams in the Lock mix in this scenario. The Vikings have acquired two ex-Bronco QBs in recent years — Trevor Siemian and Kyle Sloter — to back up Kirk Cousins, while the Panthers just dealt Teddy Bridgewater to Denver. Bridgewater would make sense as a mentor to a quarterback the Broncos select — Justin Fields or Trey Lance perhaps — but Lock would not have a place on the team in this scenario.
  • The Packers are running away with the draft-day news cycle lead, despite not picking until No. 29 tonight. The Aaron Rodgers saga hitting a fever pitch thrusts Jordan Love back into the spotlight. Despite Green Bay’s first-round pick last year receiving zero regular-season snaps, the team remains high on him and is pleased by his development, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets. The Packers let QB2 Tim Boyle go this offseason, moving Love up to Rodgers’ primary backup. Rodgers appears keen on letting Love receive another promotion.

49ers Unlikely To Trade Jimmy Garoppolo

Multiple teams are expected to contact the 49ers before and during the draft to inquire about the availability of Jimmy Garoppolo. However, as of this writing, the chances of him being traded are “remote,” one source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). 

The 49ers have insisted that Garoppolo will be their quarterback in 2021. Beyond that, of course, they’ll likely shift the responsibilities to whoever they select with the No. 3 overall pick. Things are further complicated by Jimmy G’s no-trade clause. Any team acquiring him would want a restructured contract, but Garoppolo can spike a deal if the terms aren’t to his liking.

“The biggest thing with Jimmy is his injuries,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said recently. “It’s been very tough for us when he’s been hurt. This happened two of these three years. That’s where it starts. Jimmy knows that. I’ve been very up front with him with everything…When you take a rookie quarterback and you take a veteran like Jimmy who we know we can win with, just to move on from that is something that’s not easy to do. That is a good situation for us and I think that is something that’ll be important to us this year.”

Last year, the Niners went 3-3 in the six games Garoppolo started. In total, he completed 67.1% of his passes for 1,096 yards and seven touchdowns against five interceptions. That’s a far cry from his best work two years ago, when he he racked up 3,978 passing yards and 27 TDs against 13 INTs.

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Latest On 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Is Jimmy Garoppolo guaranteed to be on the 49ers roster next week? Kyle Shanahan made it clear that he couldn’t guarantee the fate of humanity, much less the roster status of his starting quarterback. However, the 49ers head coach later provided a thoughtful response that seemed to hint that the organization would be content with keeping the veteran.

[RELATED: Will The 49ers Trade Jimmy Garoppolo?]

“The biggest thing with Jimmy is his injuries,” Shanahan said (via David Lombardi of The Athletic on Twitter). “It’s been very tough for us when he’s been hurt. This happened two of these three years. That’s where it starts. Jimmy knows that. I’ve been very up front with him with everything.

“Excited to get him in here coming up, especially when this draft is over. But I feel very fortunate taking a rookie quarterback that we do have a guy like Jimmy. We didn’t sign a guy who’s capable or has the history of being a starter right away. We have a guy, every time he’s been a starter, he’s played at a high level. So to have that with Jimmy with having a rookie quarterback gives us a lot of leeway into this. I’m not going to set anything into stone, but I know that’s the situation that would be hard to get rid of. When you take a rookie quarterback and you take a veteran like Jimmy who we know we can win with, just to move on from that is something that’s not easy to do. That is a good situation for us and I think that is something that’ll be important to us this year.”

We heard that the 49ers may be holding out for a first-round pick for Garoppolo, and the organization would obviously trade the veteran in the right deal. However, Shanahan’s argument for keeping his starting quarterback does have plenty of merit, and the organization has made it abundantly clear that they won’t simply give Garoppolo away.

So who are the 49ers going to take? The head coach wouldn’t provide any answers, but he noted that the organization still feels good about five prospects at the No. 3 spot.

“We could have sat there at 12, and waited which one came to us, if one did,” Shanhan said (via ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Twitter). “But we made a decision that we felt we needed to get a starting QB. We wanted to dicatate it. We’ll get the one that we feel is best for us.”

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Poll: How Will Broncos Address QB Need?

The only two starting quarterbacks to retire after winning Super Bowls played for the same franchise. While the Broncos made the playoffs multiple times in the five years following John Elway‘s retirement — with the likes of Brian Griese and Jake Plummer operating as the team’s primary starters — they have hovered off the contention radar for most of their post-Peyton Manning stretch. No team has started more quarterbacks than Denver’s 10 (counting the Kendall Hinton game) since 2016.

This stretch has placed the Broncos back on the quarterback radar. Although their last foray into the first-round market careened off course quickly (Paxton Lynch in 2016), the Broncos’ three subsequent QB investments — Case Keenum, Joe Flacco and Drew Lock — largely struggled. Will this run of futility at the NFL’s premier position force the Broncos to acquire one of this year’s top QB prospects?

New GM George Paton has said multiple times this offseason the Broncos will acquire a quarterback to push Lock, but it is not certain that will be a rookie. Denver brass, however, did extensive work on this year’s top passer crop. Paton was at Justin Fields and Trey Lance‘s initial pro days, while offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur trekked to the second workouts held by the Ohio State and North Dakota State QBs. Other teams have viewed Denver as a stealth quarterback seeker as well.

Only two of the draft’s top five passing prospects will be available to teams picking after No. 3, with the 49ers moving up for a quarterback. Considering the needs of some teams picking outside the top 10 — the Patriots, Washington and Bears have been linked to trade-up maneuvers — and the not-impossible prospect of the Lions (No. 7) or Panthers (No. 8) jumping into the fray, it is possible the Broncos will be left out if they stand pat at No. 9. They are believed to have inquired about trading up, though Paton denied this. The Falcons (No. 4), Dolphins (No. 6), Lions and Panthers are all open to trades, creating opportunities for the Broncos and teams eager to trade in front of them.

Given the Broncos’ above-average defense and bevy of skill-position weapons, going into another season with Lock (29th in 2020 QBR) could lower the team’s ceiling — in a hot-seat year for Vic Fangio. But Fangio’s status could also push the team to trade for a veteran instead of hoping this year’s fourth- or fifth-best QB prospect can make an impact right away. Although the Broncos sat out the free agent market and passed on trades for Carson Wentz and Sam Darnold — after falling short for Matthew Stafford — veteran arms remain available.

Paton was with the Vikings when they drafted Teddy Bridgewater in the 2014 first round; Carolina has since given Bridgewater permission to seek a trade. Given Paton’s history with the 28-year-old QB, it would make sense if the Broncos were one of the teams interestedGardner Minshew figures to be available — even though Urban Meyer denied it. The 49ers are holding out for a big offer to part with now-lame-duck starter Jimmy Garoppolo.

Lock has not been blessed with great circumstances, despite Denver drafting Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler in the first and second rounds last year. The pandemic nixed the young passer’s first offseason with Shurmur, and No. 1 receiver Courtland Sutton went down in Week 2 last year. But the 2022 quarterback class, as of now, has received far less hype than the past two drafts’ QB crops generated. The Broncos not making a move for Fields, Lance or Mac Jones next week could limit their options going forward.

How do you think the Broncos will play this? Will they prioritize acquiring another quarterback by trading up or hope one falls to No. 9? Vote in PFR’s latest poll and weigh in with your thoughts on this situation in the comments section.

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PFR Poll: Which QB Will Be Traded Next?

The NFL’s quarterback carousel continued earlier this week when the Jets finally traded former third-overall pick Sam Darnold to the Panthers. The 23-year-old became the fifth quarterback to switch teams via trade this offseason:

While teams have already shifted focus from veteran acquisitions to the draft, that doesn’t mean we won’t see another QB trade. Sure, it takes two to tango, and a number of teams already have already solidified their quarterback situation (or they will in the upcoming draft). Still, teams like the Patriots, Broncos, Bears, Saints, and Washington could be in the market for a signal-caller depending on what happens with the draft.

So who could be available? We know one name is definitively on the block: Teddy Bridgewater. Following the Panthers’ acquisition of Darnold, the front ofice gave the 2020 starter permission to seek a trade. It seems like a trade is inevitable, with reports indicating that multiple teams have reached out to Carolina about the veteran. Many of these teams are apparently eyeing Bridgewater as a backup, which could complicate a trade if the veteran is hunting for a suitor who will let hm start. Further, interested teams would also like to rework Bridgewater’s contract, adding another hurdle to negotiations.

It was widely assumed that Jimmy Garoppolo would be on the trade block after the 49ers made a blockbuster trade for the No. 3 pick. However, the organization appears to be playing hard ball. After declaring that the veteran would be sticking around San Francisco for the 2021 season, the 49ers are reportedly seeking a first-rounder for Jimmy G. This could obviously just be leveraging via the media, and the 49ers will be hard pressed to find a team that will give up that type of draft capital and inherit Garoppolo’s hefty deal. Either way, the rumors will surely persist, especially if Garoppolo’s former team, the Patriots, roll into the regular season with Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham as their top quarterbacks.

What about Gardner Minshew? The former sixth-rounder took a step back from a team-record perspective in 2020, but he still proved to be a capable game manager, connecting on 66.1-percent of his passes and tossing 16 touchdowns vs. only five interceptions. The Jaguars will presumably take Trevor Lawrence will the first-overall pick in the upcoming draft, relegating Minshew to a backup role. Minshew has a low salary and plenty of upside, so Jacksonville won’t just give him away. However, if a team is willing to pony up for the mustached quarterback, the Jaguars will probably listen. For what it’s worth, we heard back in March that the Jaguars weren’t shopping Minshew “at this point” in time.

Those three quarterbacks appear to be the most realistic trade targets, but there are plenty of additional quarterbacks who have lingered in trade rumors. Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson were the biggest names thrown around this offseason, but it’s unlikely either player is dealt any time soon (Wilson because he’s a franchise quarterback and the Seahawks aren’t dumb, Watson because of the ongoing sexual misconduct allegations against him (and the Texans prior refusal to trade him despite demands)). Some less sexy names include Nick Foles, who could be displaced in Chicago after the Bears signed Andy Dalton. Matt Ryan, Derek Carr, and Drew Lock have also been tossed around, but it’s unlikely any of those players switch teams.

So that leads to our question: who will be the next quarterback to be traded? Let us know if we forgot anyone in the comments.

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PFR Poll: Will The 49ers Trade Jimmy Garoppolo?

There’s an old saying in the business world: “Don’t tell them ‘no.’ Tell ’em how much it’ll cost.” That seems to be the 49ers’ approach when it comes to Jimmy Garoppolo. There’s at least some level of interest in the quarterback, but the asking price has been set at a first-round pick, according to one recent report. Meanwhile, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler has heard similar chatter of a first or high-second round pick (h/t Bleacher Report). 

[RELATED: 49ers Want First-Round Pick For Jimmy G]

The Niners only gave up a second-round pick for Garoppolo back when his stock was at its peak, so it seems unlikely that any team will be willing to cough up more. Last year, the Niners went 3-3 in the six games he started, and Garoppolo completed 67.1% of his passes for 1,096 yards and seven touchdowns against five interceptions. That’s a far cry from his best work two years ago, when he was under center for the Super Bowl. In 2019, he racked up 3,978 passing yards and 27 touchdowns (with 13 INTs) en route to the NFC title.

Even after trading up to the No. 3 pick, the Niners are insistent that Garoppolo will be in the fold for 2021. Beyond that, the job will probably belong to one of this year’s top QB prospects — Mac Jones, Justin Fields, Trey Lance, or, perhaps, BYU standout Zach Wilson, if he gets past the Jets.

No one’s going to send a first-round pick to SF for Garoppolo – we can say that with confidence. Would a QB-needy team offer a third-round pick for him? That seems possible, especially since the Patriots are far from sold on Cam Newton as their starter. The Bears could also give that some thought, even though they insist that Andy Dalton will be their guy in 2021.

Assuming that no one meets the 49ers’ initial ask, do you envision the Niners trading Garoppolo between now and September? Cast your vote below (link for app users) and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.

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49ers Seeking First-Round Pick For Jimmy Garoppolo?

The 49ers are asking for a first-round pick in exchange for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, according to Mike Giardi of NFL.com (on Twitter). That’s likely more than any team would be willing to spend, given Garoppolo’s recent struggles. 

[RELATED: 49ers Monitored Texans’ Watson]

After vaulting up to the No. 3 overall pick, the Niners seem poised to select a new QB. And, even before that deal, they were keeping tabs on embattled Texans QB Deshaun Watson. Still, the 49ers insist that Garoppolo is staying put.

We went to ownership and said, ‘Hey, things are looking good. We’d like to make this move, but we also don’t want to say goodbye to Jimmy,” Lynch said. “We’ve shown we can get to a Super Bowl with him. We can play at a high level and we don’t think those two things have to be mutually exclusive.”

Meanwhile, there’s been chatter about the Patriots potentially reuniting with Garoppolo, especially since Cam Newton‘s new contract is light on guaranteed cash. Still, it’s hard to imagine the Pats meeting this asking price, especially since they received a second-round pick when they shipped him to SF in 2017.

Garoppolo played all 16 games in San Francisco’s 2019 NFC Championship season, but played in only three in 2018 and just six this past year. The 49ers went 3-3 in the 29-year-old’s starts this season, with Garoppolo completing 67.1% of his throws for 1,096 yards, seven touchdowns, and five interceptions.

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49ers Monitored Deshaun Watson

Prior to swinging a deal for the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft — which they have admitted they will use on a quarterback — the 49ers monitored Deshaun Watson‘s availability, as Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com writes. That’s not terribly surprising, as the Niners were reportedly high on Watson’s list of preferred destinations, and San Francisco has been connected in some way or another to many of the quarterbacks that were on the trade and free agent markets this offseason.

Ultimately, after the club managed to retain key players like left tackle Trent Williams and fullback Kyle Juszczyk, and after Watson’s off-field situation made a trade for him infeasible, GM John Lynch approached ownership with the proposal to acquire the No. 3 pick from Miami. Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan believe the roster is championship-ready, and while they feel they can win with Jimmy Garoppolo under center — after all, the Garoppolo-led 49ers were in the Super Bowl about 14 months ago — they knew they needed a backup plan given Jimmy G’s injury history. And, with the 2022 class of collegiate QBs looking like an uninspiring group at the moment, San Francisco decided the time was right to make a bold move to secure a top prospect who would represent a Garoppolo fallback plan this year and who has a real chance of becoming a top-flight passer down the line.

The fact that the club was looking at players like Joe Flacco and Andy Dalton even after they had initiated talks to make a move up the draft board underscores the fact that the team is not comfortable with Garoppolo on a long-term basis and was considering trading him and replacing him with a different veteran that could have served as a bridge to a younger passer. Of course, a trade for Watson would have obviated the need for a rookie signal-caller, but even if Watson weren’t facing legal issues, there would have been stiff competition for his services, if the Texans had chosen to move him at all. While a player like Trey Lance, Justin Fields, or Mac Jones are hardly the sure thing that Watson is, we know that Shanahan prides himself on his ability to get the most out of his quarterbacks.

Garoppolo, meanwhile, was understandably unhappy when he learned that the team was drafting his replacement, and it sounds as if Shanahan made no bones about the fact that 2021 is looking like Garoppolo’s last year in San Francisco. As Wagoner writes, Shanahan said Garoppolo ultimately understood the plan to bring him back for “one more go” and “rehabilitate his value” (presumably for a trade in 2022).

“I’m sure Jimmy was a little pissed off from it, just like I would be, too,” Shanahan said. “The more mad Jimmy gets, usually the better he gets. (If) Jimmy just gets madder and stays healthy, this is going to be a good thing for Jimmy, too, which could be a great problem for the 49ers.”

As for who the 49ers might take at No. 3? Jones is a highly accurate passer, especially on intermediate throws, and boasts a terrific deep ball. In other words, he checks a lot of Shanahan’s boxes. He is also said to have high-level football IQ and excellent leadership abilities, and while many pundits have suggested his ceiling is lower than that of Lance or Fields, ESPN’s Adam Schefter cites one NFC GM who says teams have Jones graded much higher than the media does (via Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area). As such, Schefter says he would not be surprised if the 49ers pull the trigger on Jones.

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