But this time, Darnold’s name has resurfaced as proposed trade bait for the Panthers by one NFL analyst on the morning of Monday, August 22. The reason? The former Cleveland Browns franchise quarterback Mayfield was officially named the Panthers’ starter for Week 1 versus…wait for it…the Browns.
So how does Jimmy G surface into this picture? Especially with team owner Jed York surprisingly telling Ted Kawakami of The Athletic that the 49ers are willing to hang on to Garoppolo?
Here’s the reason: The Seattle Seahawks per NFL senior insider for ESPN Jeremy Fowler on Sunday, August 21, are “waiting” for Garoppolo to be released. But a new trade proposal could help complicate Garoppolo heading to the division rival.
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Proposed Trade Can Rule Out Garoppolo to Seattle
Here’s what Alex Kay of Bleacher Report proposed: Darnold, not Garoppolo, to the Seahawks.
“The Carolina Panthers tried and failed to revitalize Sam Darnold’s career last year. The team admitted the gambit didn’t work by taking on another project in Baker Mayfield this offseason,” Kay wrote.
Such a move would pair the USC trojans great with another man familiar with the “Land of Troy” in Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll. But what would the ‘Hawks have to surrender to possibly pull off getting the former No. 3 overall pick?
“While Darnold cost Carolina several draft picks — including a second-rounder this year — the club will likely have to settle for a Day 3 pick in exchange for dumping off the quarterback’s salary and opening up a roster spot,” Kay said.
One look at the Seattle QB room with Geno Smith and Drew Lock, and it gives Kay the indication more quality depth and an added option is needed in the signal-caller room.
“The Seattle Seahawks are one of the teams downright desperate for a decent signal-caller right now. Their decision to trade away Russell Wilson has them looking for a starting QB for the first time in a decade,” Kay wrote. “Geno Smith and Drew Lock are duking it out for the job in preseason, but neither is a viable long-term option under center. Rolling the dice on Darnold could potentially give the organization a franchise QB for a throwaway draft selection. Because Seattle isn’t expected to contend in 2022, Darnold can get a low-stakes audition in the Pacific Northwest, a final chance to prove he’s capable of becoming a decent starter in this league.”
Is There a Trade Proposal for Garoppolo?
While Seattle could get ruled out if the ‘Hawks orchestrate this trade proposal, Kay and B/R aren’t ruling out the Browns pursuing Garoppolo.
“The Cleveland Browns could be one of the few squads willing to give San Francisco reasonable value in exchange for Garoppolo after starting QB Deshaun Watson was handed an 11-game suspension,” Kay wrote. “The Browns would be facing a potential lost season without making a drastic move. The 30-year-old Garoppolo has led the 49ers to conference championship game appearances in each of his last two healthy seasons and can steady the ship while Watson is sidelined.”
Jacoby Brissett and former 49ers QB Josh Rosen are currently leading the QB reins — with the former the projected No. 1 in Watson’s absence. However, Josh Doubs has impressed during the preseason.
While Cleveland would have to take on Garoppolo’s hefty $24.2 million base salary, Kay said “Securing a late Day 2 or early Day 3 pick on top will be icing on the cake” for a deal with Jimmy G.
But again, while Garoppolo’s name has been mentioned as a possibility for Seattle, the belief is Darnold would be the more longer termed option.