Several NFL franchises are interested in trading for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, according to multiple reports.
ESPN insider Adam Schefter said on Instagram Thursday that multiple teams are expected to inquire as to the availability of the 49ers starter. However, at least one source said the possibility of San Francisco actually moving on from the quarterback was “remote,” according to Schefter’s wait-and-see report.
Garoppolo Could be Headed Back to New England
One team that reports indicate is particularly interested in Garoppolo is the New England Patriots. Dale Arnold, of NESN, said as much on Twitter Wednesday, April 28.
Arnold did not say the move was set in stone, but indicated that a reliable source — one who told him that former Pats quarterback Tom Brady had signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — said New England was working on a new contract for Garoppolo that could facilitate a trade.
There were conflicting reports, however, on the level of talks between the two franchises.
Jeff Howe, of The Athletic, reported earlier in the week that the Patriots had reached out to the 49ers to inquire about Garoppolo’s availability. But on Wednesday, Howe indicated that talks had stalled.
Garoppolo spent three seasons with the Patriots, the team that drafted him. He played in a total of 17 games, starting two of them, both of which the Pats won.
Garoppolo has long been considered a favorite of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who was rumored to have drafted Garoppolo as an eventual replacement for Brady. Belichick traded Garoppolo to the 49ers in 2017 for the team’s second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft — a move that, at the time, was considered selling low on the then-career backup with a high upside.
Garoppolo’s Future With the 49ers is Far From Certain
The 49ers executed a trade with the Miami Dolphins in March, moving from the No. 12 pick in the draft up to No. 3. Since that time, head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have been upfront about their intention to draft a quarterback with the pick, one who will presumably serve as Garoppolo’s replacement.
Initial reports indicated Garoppolo would remain with the team for at least one more year. However, in a press conference on Monday, April 26, Shanahan would not openly commit to keeping Garoppolo on the squad through the 2021 season.
Shanahan was asked directly whether Garoppolo would be a member of the 49ers on Sunday, May 2, following the conclusion of the 2021 NFL Draft the day prior.
“I can’t guarantee that anybody in the world will be alive Sunday, so I can’t guarantee who will be on our roster,” Shanahan said.
The 49ers head coach noted that Garoppolo has been saddled with injuries during his tenure in San Francisco, while avoiding a definitive statement on whether the quarterback would be back in camp during the preseason.
“The biggest thing with Jimmy is his injuries. It’s been very tough for us when he’s been hurt, and it’s happened two out of these three years,” Shanahan said. “Jimmy knows that, and I’ve been very up front with him about everything.”
Speculation continues to reign supreme as draft hour approaches, and the 49ers action with the third pick is a matter of widespread discussion around the league. As such, where Garoppolo ultimately winds up will undoubtedly be one of the biggest storylines of the weekend.