49ers Rumors: Jimmy Garoppolo Might Stick Around in San Francisco After Wild QB Frenzy

The San Francisco 49ers are ready to roll out Trey Lance as the starting quarterback in 2022. Or are they?

The NFL quarterback landscape continues to change with each passing week, and with the NFL Draft a month away, it should continue to change quite a bit before then. The big names are elsewhere: Deshaun Watson went to Cleveland, Matt Ryan got traded, Russell Wilson found a new home, and Carson Wentz headed to Washington.

The free-agent market has dried up considerably quickly, with Jameis Winston returning to New Orleans and Marcus Mariota and Mitchell Trubisky finding a likely path to starting jobs in 2022. Suddenly, the market is down to just Jimmy Garoppolo and Baker Mayfield.

That isn’t good news for the 49ers, who appeared inclined to trade away Garoppolo at the beginning of the offseason.

The NFL QB market has died out quickly and a ton of big names have moved

The NFL offseason wasted no time in stealing the show. Russell Wilson got traded to the Denver Broncos, Deshaun Watson chose to go to the Cleveland Browns, and Matt Ryan ended up with the Indianapolis Colts.

Drew Lock is in Seattle as part of the Wilson blockbuster. Marcus Mariota and Mitchell Trubisky inked new deals as temporary starters with the Atlanta Falcons and Pittsburgh Steelers, respectively. Carson Wentz went from Indy to the Washington Commanders as well.

Despite some drama, Kyler Murray isn’t going anywhere, and Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are wearing the same uniform they did in 2021.

So, that leaves the QB market pretty barren, and this is terrible news for the 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo.

Baker Mayfield is another name on the trade market, although the list of QB-needy teams is razor-thin, and Mayfield’s contract is scaring teams off from giving up any worthy draft capital.

The list of free agent QBs left isn’t a good one, so Garoppolo and Mayfield are the two hottest names remaining.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many suitors, which could force both teams to hold for the time being.

The 49ers might end up keeping Jimmy Garoppolo in town during the 2022 season

As it stands right now, the 49ers might have no choice but to bring Garoppolo back. As David Lombardi mentions, if teams don’t come calling, they can easily find a way to afford him in 2022.

They can work some contracts around and figure out a way to squeeze it in, but it would be another challenging situation for Kyle Shanahan and Trey Lance.

The Colts emerged as a prime destination for Garoppolo, but that was before Matt Ryan was made available. The Steelers had interest, but signing Trubisky negates a trade for Garoppolo, especially if they select a QB in the 2022 NFL Draft as expected.

That leaves the Carolina Panthers, who appear ready to roll with Sam Darnold again, and the Seahawks. That is pretty much it at this point.

The 49ers don’t need to rush into a deal right now, and Garoppolo’s surgery isn’t helping his value. So, maybe San Francisco keeps him around and waits for something to change, such as an injury.

Nonetheless, this isn’t the situation the 49ers expected, and their first-round pick expectations for Garoppolo are far gone.

Which teams make sense for Jimmy Garoppolo?

The 49ers might keep Jimmy Garoppolo.
Jimmy Garoppolo of the San Francisco 49ers walks off the field after being defeated by the Los Angeles Rams | Christian Petersen/Getty Images

At this stage, the only logical landing spot is the Carolina Panthers. Yes, the Seahawks have Drew Lock penciled in atop the depth chart.

However, it would be shocking if Seattle didn’t draft a QB in the 2022 NFL Draft. More than that, the Seahawks have sung praises of Lock ever since acquiring him, meaning they feel pretty good about starting him at the beginning of the season.

Do you really think the 49ers would trade Garoppolo to a division rival? It isn’t very likely.

That leaves the Panthers as the obvious choice, and Matt Rhule’s desperation to right the ship is at the forefront of everything. If the Panthers don’t turn things around, it likely means Rhule is back on the unemployment line.

Despite the Panthers’ recent comments regarding Darnold, they must certainly have their eyes on Garoppolo and his recovery from shoulder surgery.

However, the 49ers don’t need to rush this. After all, maybe Shanahan isn’t completely sold on Lance as the starter.

Garoppolo helped the 49ers reach the NFC title game, and Shanahan repeatedly echoed his support of Garoppolo while insisting that Lance wasn’t ready. So maybe that remains the case.

A month ago, it looked like Garoppolo would indeed be playing elsewhere in 2022. But, the landscape of the NFL has shifted quickly, and the 49ers might be out of luck, meaning a Garoppolo-Lance QB carousel could be returning to the Bay Area.

Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference

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