Chatter of Jimmy G being a sure fire trade idea, plus talks of Garoppolo upgrading someone else’s quarterback needs, has began to fade like Bay Area fog being evaporated by sunrise in the afternoon hours.
Garoppolo’s 49er future may remain foggy. Yet, the more the days pass, the more his prospects of staying with the franchise continues to look brighter by the day.
But now, there’s this newest trade idea that surfaced on the afternoon of Friday, March 25 that looks enticing, doable and perhaps worth the try should the 49ers consider.
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Trade Proposal Lures Defensive Captain Over to S.F.
The trade idea via Brad Graham of @TheSFNiners_: 49ers send Garoppolo to the Carolina Panthers for not only a fourth rounder, but fourth-year edge rusher and defensive captain Brian Burns.
Also included: The 49ers sending third, fifth and sixth round picks in the April draft, then a 2023 fourth rounder (or one with an incentive based third round value) for the versatile outside linebacker/edge rusher.
Graham, who recently got an injury update from Javon Kinlaw in this exclusive interview, added a 49ers angle that links Burns’ name with the franchise.
“Arik Armstead and Brian Burns workout together every offseason,” Graham posted.
Panther has Quietly Become Consistent Sack Artist
While Burns may not be considered a household NFL edge rusher name in the same breath of Nick Bosa, Myles Garrett, T.J. Watt or still available free agents like Melvin Ingram and Jadeveon Clowney, the towering 6-foot-5, 250-pounder has established himself as a consistent attacker of quarterbacks — especially in a division where he had to game plan against Matt Ryan, Drew Brees and Tom Brady over the course of his career.
Since his arrival to the league as the No. 16 overall pick in 2019 out of Florida State, Burns has 25.5 career sacks in 35 starts and is yet to finish below 7.5 sacks in a season per Pro Football Reference.
The list of Pro Bowl quarterbacks he’s sacked in his career? Brees, Ryan, Kyler Murray, Phillip Rivers, Justin Herbert, Josh Allen and Aaron Rodgers — who Burns sacked twice in the December 19, 2020 contest.
Could the Trade be Workable?
There’s one 49ers beat reporter who has taken a liking to the idea: Jack Hammer of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat is on board.
Nate Akins of the Indianapolis Star, however, doesn’t think the move could work.
Graham provided this counter idea:
“If they asked for (Dre) Greenlaw, I’d probably add him to this even though I’d hate to lose him,” Graham responded, indicating that Carolina would get the speedy linebacker in exchange for Burns.
There are other hurdles facing the 49ers, though. It involves the trenches if the ‘Niners were to try to make room for Burns.
Long story short, S.F. is deep across the defensive line of scrimmage. There’s more — the 49ers would have to find a way to take on Burns’ $13,540,182 contract. He doesn’t officially become an unrestricted free agent until the 2024 season per Spotrac. As of Friday afternoon, here’s where the 49ers stand on the cap side per The Athletic’s David Lombardi:
Trading away Garoppolo would help clear some space. The next question becomes does S.F. have enough space to insert Burns in the line rotation? Regardless, it’s the latest trade idea — and one that gives the 49ers an extra rusher, defensive leader and brings a workout partner of Armstead’s over to the Bay.