Jimmy Garoppolo signed a five-year, $137.5 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers in 2018. He ended up missing all but three games in the season that followed, played in 16 outings in 2019 and now looks like he will miss considerable time in 2020.
When Garoppolo has been on the field for San Francisco, he has been solid. Not great, not awful – passably good. That said, although he helped guide the Niners to a Super Bowl appearance last season, it is debatable what his long-term viability with the franchise is.
This week, reports emerged that Garoppolo could possibly be moved in the offseason. The Chicago Bears and New England Patriots both seem to be legitimate potential suitors for his services.
According to Dan Pompei of The Athletic, the Bears could theoretically bring Garoppolo into town during the summer for a second or third rounder.
“It probably would take a second or third-round pick for the Bears to bring the Rolling Meadows native home,” Pompei reported. “Of course, the 49ers also could decide to cut him and settle for a compensatory draft pick in 2022, but that seems unlikely.”
Garoppolo is set to make more than $50 million over the next several seasons, so the financial ramifications of adding him could be a cause for concern for Chicago’s front office. That said, clearly Mitch Trubisky’s time as a starter is done, and Nick Foles is hardly a long-term solution at quarterback. It’s just a question of how the Bears ultimately assess Garoppolo’s future potential.
Don’t worry everybody, Bronny is fine. https://t.co/1o3FyJgFZ2
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 5, 2020
If not Chicago, the Patriots also make a lot of sense. Much has been made of the team’s offensive struggles this year. It is debatable whether Cam Newton deserves the lion’s share of the blame for the squad’s 2-5 start or not, but either way, he has not really done anything of note to cement himself as the team’s starter going forward.
According to ESPN’s Bill Barnwell, there is a very real pathway for Garoppolo to rejoin the Patriots.
“There would be one team that looms as an obvious fit for Garoppolo, of course,” he wrote. “The Patriots will have more cap space than the 49ers and don’t have a solution under contract for 2021.
So that’s how she motivates Gronk. https://t.co/84SK9ScUhu
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 3, 2020
“Cam Newton and Brian Hoyer are both free agents after the season, leaving Jarrett Stidham as the only quarterback under contract. They have publicly suggested that they think Stidham can be their quarterback of the future, but he has thrown four interceptions in 27 career pass attempts,” he continued.
“If the 49ers wanted to move on from Garoppolo, the Patriots would be the most logical suitors and the best landing spot for the veteran. The return would not be as exciting as Niners fans might hope; it’s difficult to imagine New England sending much more than a mid-to-late-round pick in return for him.”
One way or another, it feels like something will need to happen between Garoppolo and the Niners in the coming months. Either he will take a pay cut and all parties involved will give it another shot, or the front office will opt to cut ties with him by any means necessary.