“Don’t be surprised if the Falcons jump in. You aren’t going to know about Desmond Ridder for two or three years, at best, and they can’t afford to wait that long,” a long-time NFL executive told Lombardo on Thursday, July 21.
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Falcons Could Strike a Deal on a Quality Veteran
It wasn’t too long ago that the Falcons were in a meeting room with Deshaun Watson, whom they were “rolling out the red carpet” for in order to get him to come back home.
But they wouldn’t need to do that for Garoppolo, who is no longer in his prime and enters the 2022 season fresh off of should surgery.
Garoppolo injured his shoulder on January 16 when the Niners defeated the Dallas Cowboys 23-17 in the wild-card playoffs. He finished the season playing injured and once the offseason hit, he quickly realized that just some rest wouldn’t allow it to heal properly, so he went under the knife in March.
Now, as San Francisco looks for a trade partner, his surgery could significantly impact his trade value since the team would no longer be getting a 100% healthy Garoppolo.
“San Francisco is in a tight, tight, tight spot,” an NFC personnel executive told Lombardo. “It’s either going to come down to trading him, or cutting him. And they’re going to lose the trade, no matter what.”
Despite not having to roll out a red carpet for Garoppolo, if Atlanta were to trade for Jimmy G., it would still cost them above $25 million. However, if he gets cut, then they would be able to work out a new and much cheaper deal.
Garoppolo Would Be an Upgrade From Falcons’ Current QB Options
Garoppolo, who is now 30 years old, has struggled to stay healthy over his four years in the Bay Area, missing over 30 games.
When he is available as a starter, the Niner’s record is a winning one, and without him, it’s been a losing one. But while winning is everything in the game of football, being able to stay healthy and active on the roster means much more.
Nonetheless, he’d still be an upgrade from what Atlanta is currently working with.
Mariota may be a vet, but he’s not a very experienced one and has spent the last two years in a backup QB role where he appeared in a total of just 11 games, with 10 of them coming last season. He went 18-of-30 passing (60%) for 230 yards and a touchdown with one interception and added 175 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
As for Ridder, well he has yet to play in an NFL game.
Meanwhile, Garoppolo finished the 2021 season with 3,810 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and helped the Niners clinch a playoff spot for the third year in a row––something that the Falcons haven’t seen since 2017.