New AFC Team Could Enter Race for 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo: Report

Jimmy Garoppolo

Getty Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers looks to throw a first half pass against the Indianapolis Colts at Levi's Stadium on October 24, 2021 in Santa Clara, California.

The San Francisco 49ers can go a lot of directions when it comes to trading 30-year-old quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Even keeping Garoppolo is on the table, as head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch did not rule out the possibility of Jimmy G being a 49er in the 2022 season. That being said, Garoppolo’s “goodbye” to Niners fans seems to all but confirm that he’s on his way out.

San Francisco will obviously look to get the best possible value for Garoppolo, but they may also consider specifically trading him out of the NFC and into the AFC. If that’s the case, a new candidate appears to be entering the fold in the Indianapolis Colts.

ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen went on ESPN to share an update on the Colts and their current QB Carson Wentz, saying that the team is possibly moving on from the former Philadelphia Eagle.

“For Carson Wentz and the Indianapolis Colts, it looks bleak,” Mortensen said per Niners Nation. Yes, the Colts did not give him support verbally after the season. Said that they weren’t guaranteeing him anything. Well, right now, it looks bleak. And by March 18, he’ll probably be traded or released. That’s when $15 million of his base salary is guaranteed. So, for Carson Wentz and the Colts, it looks like a one-year marriage that went wrong.”

That coupled with a former Colt’s recent comments on Jimmy G sets up a scenario where the Niners send him to Indiana.

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Darius Butler on Garoppolo

From the 2012 to 2017 seasons, ex-cornerback Darius Butler was a prominent starter for Indianapolis and knows the team well. Recently, he hopped on ESPN analyst Mina Kimes‘ podcast to talk about the Colts, and was asked about a quarterback change for Indianapolis.

His suggestion? Bring Jimmy G back to the Midwest.

“I think Jimmy G, you put him on a team with a run game like that with Jonathan Taylor, a good offensive line, a good defense that can hopefully get a little better. You got to get him some weapons on offense at the receiver position… I think he’d be an upgrade for the Colts.”

Garoppolo isn’t from Indiana, but hails from Illinois so he’d be closer to where he was raised, if he wants that. The only thing people outside the 49ers’ inner circle know about Garoppolo’s desire for his next destination is the team being competitive.

Jimmy G Wants to Win

In his after-season press conference, Garoppolo was asked about how potentially leaving the 49ers will work. He explained on February 1 that it will be a collaborative effort, and that he wants to win wherever he is next.

“Was talking to [general manager] John [Lynch] yesterday about finding the right destination,” Garoppolo said. “Whatever the future holds, just doing it the right way. I got a long career ahead of me. I’m excited about it, excited about the opportunities to come. I just wanna go to a place where they wanna win. That’s really what I’m in this game for. I’m here to play football, win football games and as long as I got that and good people around me I think the rest will take care of itself.”

The Colts may fit his qualifications. Despite an embarrassing finale loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars to miss the playoffs, the team was on the cusp of making the playoffs at 9-8.

A change at quarterback may be all they need to get there in 2022, and Garoppolo may also believe there’s fertile ground for success in Indiana.

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