Most of those bruising encounters took place in the 2010s when both the Seahawks and Niners were vying for division and conference supremacy. Things are different in 2022, with the 49ers still a legitimate Super Bowl contender, while the Seahawks are firmly in rebuilding mode.
Those rebuilding efforts would be accelerated if the Seahawks find the right player at football’s most important position. Ironically, help could come from San Francisco, according to one respected analyst, who believes the 49ers have the ideal trade candidate for the Seahawks to pursue.
Big-Name Veteran ‘Stylistically and Conceptually’ Fit for Seahawks
There’s something to Cosell’s thinking, if only because Garoppolo made himself a success in San Francisco directing a run-heavy offense. Head coach Kyle Shanahan likes the 49ers to win with a varied ground attack and a steady diet of play-action passing.
For the most part, Garoppolo fulfilled his role well. He helped the Niners reach Super Bowl LIV after the 2019 season and had his team in another NFC Championship Game back in January.
Garoppolo always appeared on borrowed time, though, especially after general manager John Lynch traded up to draft Trey Lance third overall in 2021. The writing was on the wall once Garoppolo went 16 of 30 and threw a critical interception to Travin Howard against the Los Angeles Rams with a place in Super Bowl LVI at stake.
Shanahan confirmed the inevitable on Tuesday, July 26, by declaring the 49ers Lance’s team moving forward, per NFL on CBS:
Garoppolo is now on the outside looking in, but while he could still be dealt, it’s unlikely the 49ers make a move that would surely improve the Seahawks.
Seahawks Make Sense for Garoppolo, But Not 49ers
There’s no denying Garoppolo is a viable trade candidate, at least once he’s recovered from a shoulder injury. Shanahan confirmed the problem prevented a deal from happening before now, per Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury:
If any trade talks could be revived, Garoppolo ought to hope they involve the Seahawks. As Cosell pointed out, the Seahawks’ style and concepts fit how the former New England Patriots backup plays the game.
Seattle head coach Peter Carroll has traditionally favored a run-first offense. Carroll’s also preferred select big plays from an efficient quarterback.
Russell Wilson used to provide said efficiency until the Seahawks traded him to the Denver Broncos for two first-round picks and a pair of second-rounders back in March. The Seahawks also got three players, including quarterback Drew Lock.
He’s in a competition with Geno Smith for the starting job, with the latter playing with the starters most often during training camp, according to ESPN’s Brady Henderson:
Garoppolo would be a clear upgrade over Lock, who flopped as a starter in Denver. Meanwhile, Smith has been a backup for all-but two seasons of his career after entering the NFL as a member of the New York Jets in 2013.
Without a tempting enough offer, Lynch and Shanahan should be wary about any deal to send Garoppolo to Seattle. For all their struggles in recent years, the Seahawks have still managed to give the 49ers problems, including beating them twice last season.
Garoppolo has been central to the 49ers’ issues against the Seahawks, going 1-5 against them in his career, per StatMuse. Yet, Carroll would likely still consider the 30-year-old a welcome addition to an offense that’s a competent signal-caller short of being effective.
The Seahawks have two standout wide receivers, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, as well as a capable tight end, Noah Fant, who arrived as part of the Wilson deal. Meanwhile, rookie Kenneth Walker III should revive the running game after finishing second in the nation with 1,636 yards at Michigan State last year.
Even the offensive line is stronger after ninth-overall pick Charles Cross was selected to join guard Gabe Jackson. Garoppolo would fit in this unit, and he’s already showing his worth after being cleared to practice on Tuesday, August 2 and showing off his arm strength, per NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco:
The Seahawks acquiring Garoppolo wouldn’t immediately loosen the Niners’ and Rams’ grip on the West, but it would make things more difficult for Shanahan’s men. Things might change with the right offer, especially since Lynch “is extremely eager to get draft-pick compensation,” according to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Making the right offer wouldn’t be beyond the Seahawks when they own extra first- and second-round picks a year from now. Yet, it would surely take one or both of those for the 49ers to even consider strengthening a division rival.