Fans who expect quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to be with the San Francisco 49ers in the 2022 season may need to wait and see according to a new trade report.
Jimmy G was expected to be traded this offseason, but surgery on his throwing arm plus a less-than-demanding trade market has meant that the 30-year-old quarterback is still on the 49ers roster as rookie minicamps start across the NFL.
San Francisco general manager John Lynch has stated that the team is comfortable with keeping Garoppolo for another year if they don’t get fair trade value, which has prompted speculation that the team may still have Trey Lance and Jimmy G on the roster in 2022.
However, a new report from ESPN insider Jeremy Fowler states that there is still hope for a deal, thanks to the Carolina Panthers. NBC Sports’ Tom Dierburger transcribed a recent update from Fowler when he spoke on Sportscenter.
“The door is open slightly for [Matt Corral] to potentially take the [starting quarterback] job because the Panthers are still essentially looking for veteran quarterback help,” Fowler said. “They would like somebody else; that’s why the Baker Mayfield situation, Jimmy Garoppolo might not be completely dead at this point. And so it certainly seems [Sam Darnold] is the favorite to start.”
For a deal to work out, two key factors have to align: Corral and the rest of the Panthers quarterbacks need to fail to impress this offseason and the 49ers need to get a fair offer.
ALL the latest 49ers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on 49ers newsletter here!
Panthers QB Situation
It was no surprise that the Panthers selected a quarterback in 2022 NFL draft. In 2021, they brought back Cam Newton and signed Sam Darnold to see if either could nail down the starting job. To sum it up quickly, both Darnold and Newton threw for more interceptions than touchdowns.
Darnold is returning, but Newton is not. So after waiting through the first two rounds this year, Carolina took Corral. Sports Reference shows that the former Ole Miss QB threw for 6686 passing yards, 49 touchdowns and 19 interceptions in his past two seasons, but he’s still raw by NFL standards according to Fowler.
“They know Matt Corral is a bit of a project, a little like Malik Willis, because of the offense he came from in Ole Miss,” Fowler said. “He’s going to need some time to learn the nuances of the NFL game, but they love the talent. So, he could at least make this interesting for sure.”
So, Corral could win the starting job. But the Panthers’ eagerness to add another veteran QB belies their goal of winning games with a decently-built roster but also allowing their quarterback of the future to develop.
If Corral is looking like Carolina’s starter this year, that doesn’t bode well for Garoppolo’s trade chances. But if he is more to the level the NFL expects, the Panthers will still feel the need to acquire a QB.
49ers Not Letting Garoppolo Go for Cheap
The QB market this offseason was always going to be interesting due to the lack of sure-fire quarterback prospects in the NFL draft. However, that factor compounded with Garoppolo’s surgery has made dealing him difficult.
But don’t anticipate a release if a team doesn’t trade for Jimmy G, at least according to Lynch. ESPN reporter Nick Wagoner transcribed the 49ers GM’s words from interviews at the owners’ meeting at the end of March.
“I don’t foresee that,” Lynch said. “He’s too good a player. I think Jimmy will be playing for us or will be playing for someone else. He’s too good of a player not to be.”
Things change, but it’s clear San Francisco believes Garoppolo is worth something. The problem that a trade could run into is that the Panthers or other NFL teams don’t want to deal with paying $25.5 million to Jimmy G no matter what the 49ers’ asking price is.