As the San Francisco 49ers’ trade saga with Jimmy Garoppolo continues, the possibilities of where the 30-year-old will play in 2022 remain numerous.
Now, it appears the Washington Commanders and Pittsburgh Steelers are showing interest in Garoppolo, according to a March 1 tweet by NFL insider Jordan Schultz.
“#Steelers and #Commanders both highly intrigued by Jimmy G, according to sources,” Schultz tweeted. “Pittsburgh OC Matt Canada wants to deploy RPO – not dissimilar 2 the offense Garrappolo ran with the #Niners. Ron Rivera not only believes his team can win now, but has over $30M in cap as well.”
Both teams could be a good fit for Garoppolo. The Steelers are looking to replace quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who retired January 27 after 18 seasons with the Steelers, while the Commanders are looking to make the most of their current roster by upgrading from Taylor Heinicke at quarterback.
Several teams need a quarterback heading into the 2022 season, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are moving on after Tom Brady’s retirement. According to a February 3 Fox Sports story, the odds show the Buccaneers as the team most likely to acquire Garoppolo at +300. The Steelers and Commanders are the second most likely at +350.
ALL the latest 49ers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on 49ers newsletter here!
Steelers’ Trade Proposal for Garoppolo
Fox Sports Radio host Jason Smith predicted on January 18, when Garoppolo and the 49ers were still in the NFC playoffs, that the Steelers would eventually be the team to land Garoppolo, who has played eight years in the league.
“Steelers QB next season will be: Jimmy Garoppolo,” Smith tweeted. “Regardless of how post-season goes, 49ers HAVE to go to Trey Lance next season. Jimmy is limited but he’s better than Roethlisberger & I’d be aggressive right way if I were Pitt. Maybe a 1st and a 3rd would get it done early.”
Garoppolo is expected to have surgery “shortly” for a shoulder injury he sustained during the 49ers’ playoff win over the Dallas Cowboys on January 16, according to a March 1 tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter. If the surgery happens, Garoppolo likely wouldn’t be able to throw again until early July, Schefter said.
Given Garoppolo’s extensive injury history and the unknowns surrounding his injured shoulder, it seems difficult to imagine that the 49ers could receive a first-round pick in exchange for Garoppolo, much less a first-rounder and another pick, as Smith suggested.
Commanders Offer 2 Draft Picks
As Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger noted in a February 22 story on potential offseason trades, “quarterback desperation is real.”
He listed as No. 2 on his ranking of “15 trades to watch” the Commanders acquiring Garoppolo in exchange for Washington’s fourth-round pick in 2022 and second-round pick in 2023, a haul that, indeed, suggests Smith’s prediction is considerably off.
Spielberger questioned Garoppolo’s ability to make difference-making plays without the offensive schemes of 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.
“Garoppolo made just 10 big-time throws compared to 23 turnover-worthy plays in 2021, almost the inverse of his 20 touchdown passes to 12 interceptions,” he wrote.”(He) would still serve as a sizable upgrade over Taylor Heinicke and Alex Smith.”
Garoppolo will be owed almost $26 million with one year left on his five-year contract.