The Seattle Seahawks have been linked to quarterbacks all offseason after trading away their star quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos. While most of those rumors have resulted in nothing, a recent report from the biggest insider in the league has those trade rumors buzzing once again.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted on July 20 that the San Francisco 49ers had officially given quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and his agents, Don Yee and Carter Chow, permission to see a trade with another team.
Given Garoppolo’s desire for a fresh start and former third overall pick Trey Lance’s being ready to take over as starting quarterback, both the team and Garoppolo have decided its best to see his agents can find a suitable trade partner.
The Seahawks remain the top projected landing spot for an experienced, and often successful, starter. Currently, Seattle has veteran backup Geno Smith competing with mostly unproven Drew Lock for the starting job.
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Could the 49ers & Seahawks Pull It Off?
Trading with another team in the NFC West could be difficult considering the teams’ rivalry desire to not have a former player beat them when the margin to get into the playoffs can be so thin.
Garoppolo’s health and contract could also play a factor in a potential trade. After undergoing offseason shoulder surgery, Garoppolo is expected to return and fully resume throwing by mid-August, according to a July 19 tweet by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. In theory, that would mean he have only a couple of weeks of practice before the Seahawks’ season opener on September 12.
Financially, the 49ers might have a hard time moving Garoppolo’s contract. He’s on the final year of his five-year deal and is projected to count for nearly $27 million against the cap. Unless the 49ers are willing to take on a portion of that salary, it will be much more difficult to facilitate a trade this late in the offseason.
Garoppolo’s options could open up significantly if he were released, however. The 49ers would take only a $1.4 million dead cap hit by cutting him, and it would allow Garoppolo’s agents to work out a more reasonable contract with a team interested in the veteran QB. If that doesn’t happen, then the 49ers may find themselves waiting until the midseason trade deadline to move him.
Other Seahawks QB Options
The Seahawks might very well head into the regular season without a new quarterback on their roster. If that happens, then a training camp battle between Smith and Lock will determine Seattle’s Week 1 starter.
Smith has spent more time in Seattle’s offense, and looked solid stepping up in place of an injured Wilson in 2021. However, Lock has the arm talent and upside as the younger quarterback looking for a fresh start after struggling in Denver. Lock shined during his college days at Missouri, even leading the nation in passing touchdowns as a junior.
If the Seahawks do decided to trade for another quarterback, there aren’t many other realistic options outside of Garoppolo. Former Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew is currently a backup in Philadelphia, but some Seahawks analysts have discouraged the team from making that trade.
Green Bay Packers backup Jordan Love could be another option considering Aaron Rodgers decided to return to the team rather than retire. A former first-round pick, Love has had very few opportunities to see the field as Rodgers’ backup, and a team with a strong offer could potentially snag the unproven commodity.
Training camp arrives July 27, however, so if a trade is going to happen then it would need to happen sooner than later.