49ers Projected to Trade Jimmy Garoppolo to Buccaneers by ESPN

Jimmy Garoppolo

Getty Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after a first down against the Dallas Cowboys during the fourth quarter in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 16, 2022 in Arlington, Texas.

The San Francisco 49ers appear to be moving on at the quarterback position and will need to trade Jimmy Garoppolo to do so.

Rookie Trey Lance is waiting in the wings, sitting behind Garoppolo for the 2021 season as he learns the ropes. While some fans don’t want to see Jimmy G say goodbye, his wrap-up press conference on February 1 all but confirmed that he’s on his way out.

So, what can the Niners get for him? The valuation of Garoppolo varies, with NFL executives throwing out everything from a pick and a player to just a mid-round pick. ESPN conducted a “simulation” where beat writers for respective teams acted as general managers, with Nick Wagoner representing the 49ers.

Four teams submitted trade offers in their simulation, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Commanders, Carolina Panthers, and Pittsburgh Steelers all trying to get Jimmy G. Here’s what they had to offer for Garoppolo:

  • Bucs: 2022 second-rounder
  • Commanders: 2022 third-rounder, 2023 fourth-rounder
  • Panthers: 2022 fourth-rounder, 2023 second-rounder
  • Steelers: 2022 third-rounder, 2023 sixth-rounder

They are all enticing offers, but Wagoner could only pick one in the simulation of the Garoppolo trade.

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49ers Choose Bucs’ Offer

In the end, the 49ers end up going with the Bucs’ offer in the ESPN simulation. While the Commanders, Panthers and Steelers all offered more picks, the Bucs’ second-rounder was the best value and an immediate return for San Francisco.

However, Wagoner did explain he thinks the 49ers should get more for Jimmy G in the scenario.

“The Niners are happy to recoup the second-round pick they traded to New England for Garoppolo in 2017,” Wagoner wrote. “I was hoping for an additional mid-to-late-round pick in 2023, too. But this is a fair deal for both sides.”

A second-round pick this year gives the 49ers two picks in the top 60, which helps a lot considering they traded their 2022 first-round pick to go get Lance. It also gives them a serious piece to trade up in the draft, if there’s a specific name they really want.

The other offer that’d likely be the most interesting would be the Panthers’ option. The fourth-round pick for this year’s draft is less than ideal, but the second-round pick in 2023 makes it worth considering.

What Garoppolo Wants

The aspect of the Garoppolo situation that isn’t accounted for in ESPN’s trade simulation is what Garoppolo wants to do. Getting paid is always first and foremost in the NFL, but Jimmy G has made it clear what he wants: a winning franchise.

In the February 1 presser, Garoppolo didn’t hesitate to make that desire known.

“Was talking to [general manager] John [Lynch] yesterday about finding the right destination,” Garoppolo said. “Whatever the future holds, just doing it the right way. I got a long career ahead of me. I’m excited about it, excited about the opportunities to come. I just wanna go to a place where they wanna win. That’s really what I’m in this game for. I’m here to play football, win football games and as long as I got that and good people around me I think the rest will take care of itself.”

With that in mind, it would feel like the Panthers and Commanders would have to make a convincing pitch for Jimmy G to go there. But with the Buccaneers winning a Super Bowl a year ago and winning the NFC South again this year, Tampa Bay feels like the ideal location for the 29-year-old QB.

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