The San Francisco 49ers face several questions regarding Jimmy Garoppolo’s future including whether they can find a trade partner if they decide to move on at quarterback this offseason. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell suggests the 49ers and Patriots revisit a reverse trade for Garoppolo as Bill Belichick continues to look for his long-term replacement for Tom Brady.
“There would be one team that looms as an obvious fit for Garoppolo, of course,” Barnwell explained. “The Patriots will have more cap space than the 49ers and don’t have a solution under contract for 2021. Cam Newton and Brian Hoyer are both free agents after the season, leaving Jarrett Stidham as the only quarterback under contract. They have publicly suggested that they think Stidham can be their quarterback of the future, but he has thrown four interceptions in 27 career pass attempts.”
Garoppolo’s value has taken a hit since the 49ers were perceived to get a solid deal for the quarterback by sending the Patriots a second-round pick. All indications are Bill Belichick did not want to trade Garoppolo, and the Patriots head coach could be open to a prodigal return for his former backup quarterback. Cam Newton is a free agent after this season, and it is unclear if the Patriots will re-sign the former MVP quarterback.
The 49ers Are Unlikely to Get Much in Return for Jimmy G in a Trade
It remains to be seen what the 49ers could land in return for Garoppolo in a potential trade. There are a couple of factors that are likely to decrease Garoppolo’s trade value, including a stacked quarterback class in the 2021 NFL Draft with Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields and Trey Lance all expected to go pro at the end of the college football season.
The bigger deterrent is Garoppolo’s contract as the quarterback will still have two seasons remaining after 2020 on his five-year, $137.5 million deal. Garoppolo is set to make a base salary of $24.1 million, not exactly a bargain for a quarterback who has struggled to stay healthy and battled finding consistency when he is on the field. The good news for a potential suitor is the 49ers will have already paid Garoppolo the guaranteed portion of his contract giving his new team more flexibility on deciding his future.
What Could the 49ers Land by Trading Garoppolo?
If the Patriots and Niners reached a deal, Garoppolo could agree to some sort of a restructured contract given it would likely be a better financial option for the quarterback than being released outright. Even still, Barnwell points out the 49ers are unlikely to get more than a day-three pick from the Patriots.
“If the 49ers wanted to move on from Garoppolo, the Patriots would be the most logical suitors and the best landing spot for the veteran,” Barnwell added. “The return would not be as exciting as Niners fans might hope; it’s difficult to imagine New England sending much more than a mid-to-late-round pick in return for him.”
It may not sound that appealing but if the Niners do opt to move on from Garoppolo it is better to at least get something in return. The 49ers are heading towards a pivotal offseason with no bigger decision than what to do at quarterback.