Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace vowed to be diligent when searching for his team’s new quarterback this offseason, and according to the latest rumors circulating on Twitter, that diligence has brought him to the Bay Area.
NFL Rumors and Updates Tweeted that the Bears have inquired about San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. No source was provided, but a few respected 49ers analysts, including The Athletic’s David Lombardi, have mentioned Garoppolo as a possible fit in Chicago:
— NFL Rumors and Updates (@nflrums) January 29, 2021
It's possible and maybe even likely that a third team could be involved in a maneuver. Theoretically, New England and Chicago are two teams that might want and have a spot for Garoppolo.
It can get complicated fast, but Shanahan has said that all options might land on the table https://t.co/UJxj6v9enE
— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) January 24, 2021
— Bears Nation (@BearsNationCHI) January 29, 2021
Jimmy G is from Illinois, and he played his college ball at Eastern Illinois — which, coincidentally, is where current Bears general manager Ryan Pace attended college.
Just a couple of Eastern Illinois Panthers hanging out….. pic.twitter.com/5j1b8lwWic
— Da TailGate Show ™️ (@DaTailGateShow) January 29, 2021
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The Primary Concern With Garoppolo is His Injury History
Garoppolo turned 29 in November, and he signed a five-year contract with $90 million guaranteed with the Niners in 2018. Selected by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft (62nd overall), Garoppolo has played well when healthy — but staying healthy has been difficult for the veteran quarterback.
He tore his ACL three games into the 2018 season, and a high ankle sprain kept him out for much of his 2020 campaign. When he played a full season in 2019, he completed 69.1 percent of his passes for 3,978 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, and he took the 49ers to the Super Bowl.
There was talk in 2017 of a possible trade between the Patriots and Bears, bringing the signal-caller to the Windy City, but Garoppolo wound up heading to the Bay area instead. Per Over the Cap, his base salary in 2021 is slated to be $24,100,000, and he has no guaranteed money remaining on his contract.
Stars Could Align & Send Garoppolo to Chicago
“You can’t say anything with certainty,” 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said when asked about Garoppolo’s future with the team, per ESPN’s Nick Wagoner. “You don’t sit here and make promises on anything. When you build a football team, it’s your job to put the best team together year in and year out.”
“Jimmy has shown in one year that he’s the guy who can take us to the Super Bowl, and I also think that Jimmy is going to get a lot better the more he plays,” the 49ers coach added.
The Bears have made it clear they’re in the market for a quarterback this offseason, and they’ve also suggested they’ll be ready to go all-in at the position — something multiple insiders have also supported.
“As far as the plan at quarterback, we definitely need more out of that position. We know that. What does that entail? That is what this whole offseason is about. … I think when you go into selecting a quarterback or acquiring a quarterback in any way we do it or whatever we do at that position – everything is on the table,” Pace said during the team’s year-end presser, adding: “And that’s why it will be a big focus of us and a big decision for us.”
The Bears likely don’t have the draft capital to compete with the Dolphins, Jaguars or Jets for players like Deshaun Watson and Dak Prescott, who are the cream of the crop in terms of potentially-available quarterbacks this offseason. Thus, a mid-tier player like Garoppolo could be someone the team is forced to consider simply because of its current limitations. Stay tuned, Bears fans. The quarterback saga in Chicago continues.