The San Francisco 49ers have done their job in filling nearly every big hole in free agency, leaving them left with the quarterback position to focus on now.
ESPN’s and NFL insider, Jeremy Fowler, recently broke down free-agency moves across the league and believes the Niners will make a move at QB soon.
“The 49ers are up to something at quarterback,” wrote Fowler. “They had extensive talks with (Joe) Flacco, who hit it off with Kyle Shanahan during a visit last week before ultimately choosing Philly.”
The Niners were also reportedly “in the mix” for Andy Dalton before he signed with the Chicago Beas and the team spoke with Mitch Trubisky before he chose to join the Buffalo Bills.
Fowler adds, “Rumors persist that Jacksonville quarterback Gardner Minshew II could be in their plans via trade.”
Garnder Minshew is set to be out of a job with the Jags expected to select Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence at No. 1 overall in this year’s NFL draft.
Minshew could be one of the “better options” the Niners are on the search for to backup Jimmy Garoppolo.
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Minshew vs. Rosen
The 49ers signed Josh Rosen to a deal this offseason, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he will land a starting spot on the final roster.
Minshew is a huge upgrade from Rose as the 25-year-old has done a lot more in the NFL than Rosen has thus far.
Minshew has started two seasons for the Jaguars and despite the team’s disappointing performance in 2020, his quarterback rating jumped from 91 (2019) to 95 this past season.
Meanwhile, Rosen has QB ratings of 66 (2018) and 52 (2019). During his rookie season, after being drafted 10th overall by Arizona, Rosen finished with 2,278 passing yards, 11 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. The Cardinals finished 3–13 and 3–10 with Rosen front and center. The following year, Arizona drafted Kyler Murray and Rosen was traded to the Dolphins. He stepped into the starting role for veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick three times where he threw just one touchdown. Miami then drafted Tua Tagovailoa, leaving Rosen out of a job once again. a
With the obvious lack of talent and coaching over at the Jaguars franchise (before they hired Urban Meyer), Minshew would have the opportunity to thrive under Kyle Shanahan’s scheme which is full of offensive weapons. The best part? Minshew is extremely affordable. The Niners wouldn’t have to give up as much as they would if they went for Deshaun Watson.
Minshew vs. Jimmy G.
Over his past four seasons in San Francisco, Garoppolo has struggled to stay healthy, missing a total of 33 games.
When he’s healthy and starting, the 49ers’ winning percentage jumps to 73.3. Without him? Well the 49ers hold just a 6-24 record. While winning is everything, being healthy and in the lineup is means a lot more.
And that’s where the problem lies with Garoppolo. Just last season he suffered two high-ankle sprains that limited him to six games, leaving him quite useless to the team.
As for Minshew, he has managed to stay fairly healthy and durable. He had a bothersome thumb injury that he played through last year until he finally told the coach it was hurting affecting his play. That’s about as crazy as it gets.
It’s also worth saying that during his rookie season and in 2020, Minshew kept his interceptions to a minimum and has been accurate, completing 62.9% of his throws thus far. At such low risk, the Niners could use this major upgrade on their depth chart.