August 5, 2022
BY Lance Cartelli

The one obvious NFL team the 49ers need to trade Jimmy Garoppolo to

The NFL’s offseason quarterback carousel has all but screeched to a halt except for one big name: Jimmy Garoppolo. 

Despite still being under contract with the San Francisco 49ers, Jimmy G has read the writing on the wall. Heck, he’s even heard Niners coach Kyle Shanahan tell anybody who was listening that the franchise has “moved on to Trey Lance.” 

Still, Garoppolo’s chiseled jawline remains on the 49ers’ roster thanks to offseason shoulder surgery that sidelined the passer until recently. 

Unfortunately for a now-healthy Jimmy G, nearly every open quarterback spot is occupied. All but one glaring hole remains. It just so happens to be with the Niners’ hated division rivals, the Seattle Seahawks. 

With the 2022 NFL season quickly approaching, should San Francisco do the unthinkable and deal Garoppolo to their foes in the Pacific Northwest? 

Here are three reasons why they not only should, but it would benefit the Niners to do so. 

The 49ers Would Save More Than $25M in Salary Cap Space

The NFL is, first and foremost, a business. 

With market-topping deals given to Trent Williams, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Fred Warner along with Nick Bosa’s massive contract extension on the horizon, the 49ers have budgeted for these paydays by taking advantage of Lance’s paltry rookie salary.

The 49ers, of course, have zero plans on paying Garoppolo $25.6 million to be the backup to Lance this season. That places a hard deadline at the beginning of the season for Garoppolo to either be traded or released, so San Francisco isn’t on the hook for their former signal-caller’s salary. 

Any smartly run franchise will also recognize this. However, every NFL team — except the ‘Hawks — have the luxury of waiting out the 49ers because their QB positions are settled, or appear to be. The Seahawks, on the other hand, are trotting out either Drew Lock or Geno Smith, two terrible options that will sink Seattle’s already slim chances at making a playoff run. 

That’s why the Seahawks should skip the line and offer a late-round pick for Garoppolo so he can get acclimated and learn Seattle’s offense while training camp is still in full swing. 

Jimmy G Will Probably End Up in Seattle, So SF Might As Well Get an Asset

The Niners don’t have the luxury of shopping Garoppolo to a team outside their division or conference because of Garoppolo’s offseason surgery. And with an all-but-dead trade market, the 49ers know that their options are extremely limited. 

If 49ers general manager John Lynch decides to play hardball with Garoppolo and finally grants him his release prior to the start of the season, then Garoppolo would surely jump at the chance to join the Seahawks and try to exact revenge on the franchise that ditched him for a second-year signal-caller who barely played in college.   

Garoppolo could sign with the New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins or Cleveland Browns, but those QB rooms have more established starters and second-stringers. The Seahawks offer both the chance to start and to play the Niners twice. It’s almost a foregone conclusion that he’d sign in Seattle. 

Knowing this, it’d be a failure on the 49ers' part not to pull the trigger on a deal that would at least recoup an asset, albeit most likely a minor one. 

That seems like a win-win for both franchises, but there’s one more reason that would put this transaction over the top for the Niners. 

Jimmy G Will Help Seahawks Miss Out on C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young. 

Here’s the biggest reason why it’s a no-brainer for the 49ers to trade Jimmy G to the Seahawks. 

Garoppolo might not be an elite option under center, but he’s a competent passer who took the Niners to two NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl. Even if Seattle’s roster pales in comparison to San Francisco’s from a talent perspective, Garoppolo would still be a massive upgrade over Lock or Smith. 

The Seahawks (+13000) have the fourth-worst Super Bowl odds, per FanDuel Sportsbook. That puts them directly in the C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young sweepstakes.

The 49ers are focused on the present, sure, but the last thing they need in an already tough division is for the Seahawks to get a potential franchise quarterback for the next decade after San Francisco dealt with Russell Wilson for so long. 

If the 49ers can ensure that Seattle wins six-plus games and is mired in mediocrity this season, they might make their current road to an NFC West crown a little tougher, but, in the long run, it’ll pay off with salary-cap relief, a draft-pick asset and a boost to a once-proud rivalry.

Photo: Getty Images

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