NFL
July 14, 2022
BY Lance Cartelli

Which NFL Team Should Trade for 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo?

Now that the Cleveland Browns finally ended the Baker Mayfield sweepstakes by dealing the former No. 1 pick to the Carolina Panthers, there's one domino left to fall in the offseason quarterback carousel: Jimmy Garoppolo. 

The 49ers' quarterback has read the writing on the wall and knows that second-year passer Trey Lance is set to take over his spot in San Francisco. And now that Jimmy G is reportedly back to throwing following offseason shoulder surgery, a trade could happen any day now. 

But with nearly every QB position settled, which teams will be interested in Garoppolo? The market might not be deep, however, there are three teams that should acquire Jimmy G at the right price. 

Houston Texans

The Texans have promising second-year starter Davis Mills on a cheap rookie contract under center, so why would the Texans want the much more expensive -- and handsome -- Jimmy G? 

The Texans are operating like Patriots Southwest. Texans general manager Nick Caserio was in New England when Garoppolo was drafted in the second round by the franchise. Under Caserio, the Texans have favored players the front office is familiar with. 

Jimmy G won't demand more than a late-round pick which could be a bargain for the Texans in case Mills suffers from a sophomore slump or if they aren't fully sold on their incumbent starter. 

Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns roster is playoff worthy with Deshaun Watson as the new signal-caller, but the former Texans QB will undoubtedly be suspended for at least part of the upcoming season — and perhaps the entire year. 

If the Browns want to keep their championship hopes alive, they'll need a better passer than Jacoby Brissett to keep them afloat while Watson is banned. Jimmy Garoppolo would represent a nearly seamless transition for the Browns. He's run a similar play-action, run-first offense in San Francisco under Kyle Shanahan, and he'd more than be the "adult in the room" that the Browns have reportedly been looking for. 

Jimmy G might not be perfect (on the field), but he did take the Niners to two NFC Championship Games in his tenure in the Bay Area. He could at least keep the Browns' season alive until Watson is back. 

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks have the worst QB room in the NFL, and it's not very close. Geno Smith and Drew Lock are expected to battle it out in training camp to be Russell Wilson's replacement. And neither option is close to ideal. 

The Seahawks have either been playing the waiting game on either Garoppolo or Mayfield, or they really are content with going with either Smith or Lock for a year while potentially tanking for a top QB in the 2023 NFL Draft. 

That might pay off as Jimmy G's options are dwindling and the Niners surely don't want to pay his $27 million salary. 

But would the 49ers really trade Jimmy G inside their own division? They'd be crazy not to. 

As I just mentioned, the Niners would save big money that could be used on contract extensions for Nick Bosa and Deebo Samuel, among others, while proving that Lance really is the team's starter. 

But the much sneakier reason to trade him to the 'Hawks is to make sure that Seattle isn't the worst team in the NFL in what's expected to be a somewhat deep QB class. 

If the Seahawks really trot out either Smith or Lock then they are easily in the running for the top pick in the draft which could net them a franchise QB such as Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud. If they add Jimmy G, then Seattle improves enough to potentially take them out of the running. 

If the 49ers can save cap space, add a draft pick and stop the Seahawks from getting a franchise QB in a year, then they should deal him to Seattle before they're forced to cut him. 

Photo: Getty Images