The unofficial word around the water cooler during this NFL offseason is that second-year quarterback Trey Lance is expected to nab the reins from Jimmy Garoppolo and lead the San Francisco 49ers come the start of the 2022 season, but as of May, Garoppolo is still with the team.
While potential landing spots seemed plenty fruitful before the draft, the teams that could possibly trade for Garoppolo are dwindling now that the Seattle Seahawks have voiced that they’re not interested in trading for someone of Garoppolo’s QB veteran status.
At least according to Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.
‘I Don’t See It Happening’
During a May 5 interview with Sports Radio 93.3 KJR-FM, Carroll gave a generic response to whether or not Seattle would trade for “a veteran quarterback who’s been a starter in this league.”
“We’re always competing,” Carroll said. “I’m not saying anything you didn’t think I was going to say, but fortunately that’s always been the way we’ve operated, and it fits again. So we’re looking. I don’t see us making a trade for anybody at all. I don’t see that happening. But we’re certainly going to continue to be open to chances to help our club, and meanwhile we’re just going to be battling and competing our tails off. There’s always possibilities, so we keep open to that.”
Carroll’s comments may also refer to rumors swirling that Seattle might have been interested in trading for Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. Mayfield, who the Browns are actively looking to trade after getting Deshaun Watson, appeared on the YNK podcast in April and said that Seattle or the Denver Broncos were “probably the most likely option” for him.
A Man Without a Land
So what does this mean for Garoppolo?
The limbo that the 30-year-old veteran is currently walking keeps stretching longer and longer as fans peer on exasperated. With Seattle shutting a door in the NFC West, could the AFC South be a possible option?
According to NBC Sports, a trade with the Houston Texans would “make sense” since Houston’s general manager is Nick Caserio, who was the director of player personnel for the New England Patriots during Garoppolo’s tenure with the team.
The Texans will possibly start second-year quarterback Davis Mills next season. However, Las Vegas oddsmakers don’t have faith that Mills can wiggle Houston into the win column so soon. Betting odds are leaning toward the Texans taking a quarterback with the top pick of the 2023 NFL draft — if they should land it, Sports Illustrated reported.
If they don’t want to wait that long and are looking for a veteran backup who could possibly compete with Mills for the starter role, Garoppolo reuniting with Caserio makes logical sense.
Or, there’s another option that ‘Niners fans might not want to hear.
He Stays in San Francisco & Mentors Lance
Garoppolo is no Ryan Tannehill.
The Tennessee Titans quarterback has been taking heat for his May 3 comments on not wanting to actively assist former Liberty QB Malik Willis, the Titans’ third round draft pick.
“That’s part of being in a quarterback room, in the same room — we’re competing against each other, we’re watching the same tape, we’re doing the same drills,” Tannehill said. “I don’t think it’s my job to mentor him. But if he learns from me along the way, then that’s a great thing.”
While NBC Sports’ Mike Florio wrote that the perception of Garoppolo as a “nice guy” is holding him back or maybe just a “routine,” it may come in handy for the 49ers — if they can’t find a suitable trade option.
Lance spoke highly of Garoppolo July 2021 following his first training camp, NBC Sports reported.
“No, there’s no awkwardness at all,” Lance said at the time. “We’re good friends. We got to spend a lot more time together now and definitely looking forward to continuing learning as much as I can from him.
“He’s one of the best people that I’ve ever been around on and off the field. So just super excited to continue to learn this year as much as I can from him.”
As NBC pointed out, Garoppolo is known for his leadership in the locker room and on the field and his teammates have constantly praised him for it, including wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who gushed about the quarterback’s “swagger.”
“There’s certain people who know who they are,” Sanders said in April on Good Morning Football. “Jimmy G. knows who he is. Jimmy G. plays with swagger, Jimmy G. has his own swagger. He’s not walking around saying it, but Jimmy G. plays with swagger. Jimmy G. is a leader. He’s a natural leader.
“I’ve played with a lot of quarterbacks. When I tell you this guy is a leader, he’s a leader. He allows guys to follow him, not just by how he works, but when he comes in and he’s running meetings like coaches? He’s a natural born leader.”