Analysts Debate Jimmy Garoppolo’s Fate After Blockbuster Trade

Jimmy Garoppolo

Getty Jimmy Garoppolo on January 22, 2022 at Green Bay.

The words “Keep Pounding,” better known as the rallying cry for the Carolina Panthers, won’t be reverberating inside the ears of Jimmy Garoppolo.

Instead, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback won’t be heading to the east coast following the blockbuster NFL trade on the late morning of Tuesday, July 6 that officially axed Carolina as a potential trade suitor for Jimmy G.

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After several weeks of trade chatter, the Cleveland Browns officially moved on from their former top pick of the 2018 NFL Draft Baker Mayfield — sending him to the Panthers for a conditional fifth round pick first reported by the NFL network.

Pelissero added via Twitter “The Panthers were always the frontrunner for Baker Mayfield, who requested a trade back in March. So after months of talks, Carolina gets its QB, Mayfield gets the fresh start he wanted and Cleveland officially turns the page to Deshaun Watson.”

So Garoppolo won’t hear the drum beat to “Keep Pounding” and continues to remain on the 49ers depth chart. However, this doesn’t mean that his 2022 season will remain in the Bay Area per what numerous analysts have said and predicted.

So what could come next for Garoppolo now that Mayfield to Carolina was just orchestrated?

Cost Saving Move Imminent?

The list of suitable trade spots for the 49ers and Garoppolo have dwindled throughout the offseason.

At first, Garoppolo appeared to have some intriguing new addresses that looked like ideal fits for him. Places like Pittsburgh, Washington, Indianapolis, Denver, Carolina and Cleveland all came to mind.

However, every team representative from all six cities made their own blockbuster trades without even thinking about Garoppolo. As for the 49ers and general manager John Lynch, the thought of releasing Garoppolo ever crossing his mind he denied before the Draft.

But now, analysts who cover the 49ers have reason to believe the ‘Niners could now need to make a cost saving move.

“Three parties — Browns, Panthers and Mayfield — all take a portion of his nearly $19 million salary. I imagine something similar would have to happen to move Jimmy Garoppolo. Or maybe the 49ers should just cut him,” Matt Barrows of The Athletic tweeted.

“If Jimmy Garoppolo was to be moved via trade, the Panthers were always the likeliest candidate. That ship has sailed now. A release seems even likelier for the 49ers now, barring an unforeseen injury,” was what Rohan Chakravarthi of 49ers Web Zone posted.

“It feels like the next step is a release of Jimmy Garoppolo (even if the 49ers have publicly denied it). The last viable suitor in the Panthers is off the table,” was what Akash Anavarathan of SB Nation’s Niners Nation shared online.

There is, however, one last possible destination that’s still attached to Garoppolo’s name.

Cleveland Still Linked With Garoppolo

The Browns, even after pulling off their huge trade to get Deshaun Watson, have been labeled as one last resort for Garoppolo.

Garoppolo’s name is still floating around as a possibility given the pending future of Watson — as he could still face disciplinary action from the league following the outcome of his civil suits filed by women alleging him of sexual assault and misconduct.

Former Browns general manager Mike Lombardi is on board with Garoppolo heading to the “Dawg Pound,” stating his case on “The GM Shuffle” podcast he hosts on Friday, July 1.

“If I’m the Browns, I’m going to be all-in on the Jimmy Garoppolo deal,” Lombardi said. “I’m gonna go get Jimmy Garoppolo, and it’s the best Airbnb they can get. He comes in there – is he perfect? By no means. But the guy has played well, he’s been in this offense before and he gives them a rental that they need for a year.”

Sterling Bennett of 95.7 FM The Game in the Bay Area, however, isn’t too fond of seeing the 49ers work a trade with Cleveland.

“The Browns would be dumb to trade for Jimmy Garoppolo. Not because he wouldn’t be an upgrade over (Jacoby) Brissett, but they’re already paying $10 million of Mayfield’s salary and would pay another $10M+ for Garoppolo while also paying Deshaun Watson. That’s not smart business,” Bennett pointed out.

Meanwhile, David Lombardi of The Athletic wrote down a list of four items to watch moving forward — with his third and fourth choice the most telling involving Jimmy G.

There’s one more possibility, though, mentioned by Alex Simon of the San Jose Mercury News: Division rival Seattle, which has space to work with.

“Over The Cap has the Seahawks with more than $16 million in cap space to work with, so they have space to add Garoppolo if San Francisco keeps some money on its books,” Simon wrote.

But the move only happens if released.

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