The NFL Scouting Combine not only brings about who could be a part of the future for each franchise through the draft, but which veterans get involved in trade or free agent signing chatter — a la Jimmy Garoppolo.
And the San Francisco 49ers unrestricted free agent was a topic of discussion in Indianapolis. Per CBS Sports NFL insider Jonathan Jones on Tuesday, March 7, Jimmy G has the Houston Texans making a “push within the building” to get the two-time Super Bowl winner and 2019 season NFC champion signed. Jones adds how the Texans, now with former 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans as head coach, face the issue of trading up in the draft but adding Garoppolo in the same scenario.
“One big issue standing in the way of the above is whether [general manager] Nick Caserio and DeMeco Ryans would be willing to trade up to No. 1. Sources tell CBS Sports there’s a push within the building to sign quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and play him in 2023 while drafting a quarterback at some point in the first round with the plan to sit him for the year and grow,” Jones writes.
Would There be Room For Both a Potential Rookie QB & Garoppolo?
The Texans pick in the top five for Ryans’ first draft as a head coach. Already, there’s been projections that Bryce Young of Alabama or Anthony Richardson of Florida would be taken to give Houston its QB of the future.
But if Garoppolo is in this mix, will the Texans have enough money to add a first round signal-caller and Jimmy G? Jones detailed what the Texans face.
“Houston picks at No. 2 and 12 with more than $40 million in cap space right now, so the Texans could easily fit their quarterback of the future into the team beside the quarterback of the now if it’s Garoppolo,” Jones writes.
Other Reasonings Houston is Seen as a Fit
From the moment Garoppolo was no longer seen in any scenario of returning to S.F. in 2023 per his head coach Kyle Shanahan on February 1, the veteran has been linked to Houston. Not just because of Ryans, but because of the Texans’ new offensive coordinator perhaps swaying that move.
“The Texans hired Bobby Slowik from the Niners to be their offensive coordinator. Who better to execute that offense quickly and efficiently than a healthy Garoppolo, who knows the head coach and offensive coordinator from his time in the Bay Area and the general manager from his time in New England?” Jones writes.
Furthermore, 49ers general manager John Lynch himself confirmed at the combine that he doesn’t see Garoppolo returning to the 49ers, saying “Jimmy is going to go play good football for someone.”
But on Houston’s end, they face this situation involving the 49ers QB of six seasons.
“Garoppolo will have to want to go to Houston, though. A free agent, Jimmy G can pick his spot,” Jones said. “The Jets are waiting on Aaron Rodgers and are hopeful he’s going to give an answer any day now. The Raiders could have interest in Garoppolo. But those places would seemingly be the top landing spots.”
However, Jones adds: “If the Jets get Rodgers and the Raiders opt to go another route, the best remaining chair for Garoppolo would be Houston. The Texans could get him on a heavily-incentivized deal (due to his injury history) that they can get out of for little to no penalty after the season when their first-round quarterback has developed into a 2024 starter.”