As San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan recently described, there’s “a lot of cards on the table” when it comes to Jimmy Garoppolo’s future.
The 29-year-old quarterback’s “final message” to the fanbase seems to imply that all of those cards involve a trade away from San Francisco. According to one theory, one option could be trading Jimmy G to the Las Vegas Raiders.
Bleacher Report’s Michelle Bruton posed the idea, seeing a future in which new Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels decides to reunite with a player he knows well in Garoppolo.
“As McDaniels looks to install his offense in Las Vegas,” part of Bruton’s prediction reads. “Garoppolo may not be a long-term solution. But he could certainly help get things off the ground.”
The connection between the two former New England Patriots is certainly real, but it would take a lot of parts moving in sync to make it happen.
ALL the latest 49ers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on 49ers newsletter here!
Garoppolo, McDaniels and Derek Carr
It’s important to note that Bruton’s proposal begins with quarterback Derek Carr being traded from the Raiders to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as Tom Brady’s replacement. That would open up the space for McDaniels to coach his former quarterback.
When Garoppolo was drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft, it was a big deal. Brady was as great as ever but the Patriots appeared to be picking his supposed successor in New England.
Garoppolo only ended up making two starts and a handful of appearance for the Patriots, all while McDaniels was the offensive coordinator for New England. However, his promising play when he did hit the field prompted the 49ers to take a chance on Jimmy G as Brady continued to run the show in New England. Now that Garoppolo is set to move again, a reunion with McDaniels is possible.
Raiders and 49ers’ Perspectives
The 49ers probably don’t care too much where Garoppolo ends up, as long as its not on a direct NFC West rival like the Seattle Seahawks. The 49ers and Raiders’ fanbases famously (or infamously) don’t like each other from when the team was in Oakland, but the teams themselves likely wouldn’t be opposed to a deal.
Both parties could be interested in this scenario, but the price has to be right, which is something not initially addressed by Bruton’s piece. If any team really wanted Jimmy G, they’d probably be have to be willing to send at least a third-rounder, maybe a second, which are picks the Raiders have in the 2022 NFL draft.
From the quarterback’s perspective, it seems like a slam dunk. On February 1, Garoppolo said he wanted to go somewhere that “wanted to win.” The presence of someone he’s familiar with in McDaniels plus the Raiders’ recent trip to the playoffs certainly seems like a combo that matches his requirements.
For the Raiders, the jump from Carr’s $19.9 million cap hit (per Spotrac) to Jimmy G’s $26.9 million is reasonable to take on. An additional $7 million isn’t crazy, and the Raiders already have $21.35 million in cap space to work with.
Obviously, this trade proposal would be truly sensational if it ever came to fruition. Besides the three playoff teams setting up different QBs for their 2022 seasons, it would be a stark change considering the Raiders have backed Carr since his arrival to the franchise.
But the hangup likely won’t be in San Francisco. The 49ers won’t be too picky when it comes to dealing Jimmy G, it’s just about getting good value, and if the Raiders come calling, they’re as viable as anyone.