Despite public praise of Jimmy Garoppolo, the San Francisco 49ers face a big decision on how to approach the quarterback position moving forward. FanSided’s Matt Lombardo reported the Niners are looking for a quarterback they can “win with rather than in spite of.” Lombardo believes the 49ers could look into an offseason trade for either Matthew Stafford or Carson Wentz.
“Two names to watch here: Matthew Stafford, and Carson Wentz,” Lombardo noted on Twitter. “San Francisco is well positioned, with $26 million in cap space currently, and the organization is eager to add a QB they can ‘win with rather than in spite of,’ I’m told.”
Both quarterbacks face an uncertain future with their current franchises, especially Wentz who lost his starting job with the Eagles towards the end of the season.
The Niners Will Reportedly Look for a Better Option at Quarterback
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported there is a growing sense around the league that the 49ers will look for an upgrade at quarterback over the offseason. The Niners have said repeatedly that they expect to have Garoppolo back as their starter for 2021, but the franchise would be foolish to not at least look at other options given the quarterback’s recent injury history.
“Garoppolo’s injuries certainly complicate the picture,” Mortensen said on Sunday NFL Countdown, per Bleacher Report. “Kyle Shannahan, the coach said, he believes Garoppolo will be the quarterback in 2021, but he says he can’t say it with certainty. Most league insiders believe if there’s a better option, the 49ers will have somebody other than Garoppolo at the start of next season,”
Stafford Could be Available This Offseason
Stafford has been a mainstay in Detroit but a brand new coaching staff may opt to go in a different direction as they attempt a full rebuild. The Athletic’s Matt Barrows believes the Niners could at least explore a deal for Stafford but is not sure it would be a massive upgrade from Garoppolo.
“I think the 49ers would at least think about a Stafford trade — like they did earlier this year with Tom Brady,” Barrows explained. “They would have no room, cap wise, for Garoppolo and Stafford, so they’d have to shed Garoppolo. A scenario, though one that’s perhaps far-fetched: Robert Saleh becomes Lions head coach and hires one of Shanahan’s lieutenants, Mike LaFleur, to run his offense. They then acquire Garoppolo to run said offense. Of course, that would leave Shanahan with Stafford, a QB who doesn’t know his offense. Which is why he’d probably stick with Jimmy G.”
Stafford threw for 4,084 yards, 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season while starting all 16 games. Imagining Stafford in Kyle Shanahan’s offense is intriguing and the quarterback still has plenty of football left at 32 years old.
Wentz Reportedly Wanted a Trade But Pederson’s Firing May Make His Return to Philly More Likely
Mortensen reported that Wentz is expected to request a trade over the offseason. This was before Doug Pederson was fired which ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported decreased Wentz’s chances of being traded.
“Carson Wentz, his relationship with the Eagles is all but fractured. In fact, it is fractured,” Mortensen said, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “Wentz is expected to ask the Eagles for a trade. He’ll help the Eagles to facilitate a trade. The reaction of Jeffrey Lurie, the owner, will be vital to this one. But right now, Wentz clearly wants out of Philadelphia and a fresh start somewhere else. That will be a big story in the offseason.”
Fowler noted that Wentz’s chances of being on the Eagles roster in 2021 have “significantly increased” after Pederson’s departure. If available, it would make sense for the 49ers to at least have preliminary discussions on the formerly highly-touted quarterback prospect.
“Doug Pederson firing significantly increases chances of Carson Wentz staying in Philadelphia, a source told ESPN,” Fowler explained on Twitter. “Became clear keeping both would be difficult. Eagles could always gauge market or adjust with new coach but relationship appears salvageable.”