SANTA CLARA — Jimmy Garoppolo is a month away from turning into arguably the NFL’s most eligible … quarterback.
Who’d need a 31-year-old, crutch magnet along with his harm historical past? These looking for a veteran who’s gained 70 % of his begins.
Loads of groups will come calling March 13, when he enters free company for the primary time in his charmed but cursed profession.
He and the 49ers, finally verify, are on the outs after five-plus years collectively. Coach Kyle Shanahan mentioned Wednesday he can’t envision a situation Garoppolo stays, even with well being considerations swirling round Brock Purdy’s throwing arm and Trey Lance’s twice-repaired ankle.
Certain, Shanahan may have voiced his appreciation for Garoppolo’s 42 wins in 61 video games, or he may have railed towards Jimmy G for being damage once they wanted a rescue within the NFC Championship Sport. Bygones, at this level.
A 12 months in the past, Garoppolo opted for shoulder surgical procedure, killing his market worth and protecting him with the 49ers, for whom he performed the most effective ball of his profession earlier than a left-foot fracture ended that Dec. 4.
The place does he go well with up subsequent? Here’s what seems most interesting about potential suitors:
1. MIAMI DOLPHINS
Coach Mike McDaniel is aware of Garoppolo’s strengths and weaknesses higher than anybody outdoors of Shanahan. The Dolphins want a top-notch quarterback, and Garoppolo would deliver useful playoff expertise, which they sorely lacked of their wild-card loss. Tua Tagovailoa’s concussion historical past means Miami will need to have a greater contingency plan. A variety of ex-49ers await in Miami, the place Garoppolo would sparkle amid South Seashore’s glamour.
2. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
Coach Josh McDaniels doesn’t have time to spare to educate up an unfamiliar quarterback, and whereas that may hold Jarrett Stidham in Derek Carr’s previous job, Garoppolo broke into the NFL with McDaniels as a Patriots’ assistant. Or the Raiders push their chips in and barter for Aaron Rodgers, after already luring Davante Adams out of Inexperienced Bay a 12 months in the past. A Garoppolo-Stidham secure appears extra doubtless than Rodgers’ arrival.
3. NEW YORK JETS
It could possibly be all fuel, no brake again to the AFC East, the place Garoppolo spent his first 3 ½ seasons, as Tom Brady’s backup. Coach Robert Saleh, the 49ers’ defensive coordinator 2017-19, provides familiarity, and new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett ought to supply west-coast ideas Garoppolo is aware of. He shouldn’t be too challenged by Zach Wilson, who obtained drafted No. 2 in 2021, one spot Lance went to the 49ers.
4. WASHINGTON COMMANDERS
This franchise simply can’t get its quarterback scenario settled, and after trying into Garoppolo a 12 months in the past, coach Ron Rivera would possibly need a do-over. Washington emerged as a contender this season with its run recreation and defensive entrance, a go-to mixture with Garoppolo at QB, as a substitute of Taylor Heinicke and Carson Wentz. The Commanders’ possession scenario would possibly spook Garoppolo, as he certainly realized from Shanahan of their 2019 Mud Bowl win there.
5. HOUSTON TEXANS
Sure, one other ex-49ers assistant has a training job and a necessity at quarterback. DeMeco Ryans might want the No. 2 total draft choose for a younger quarterback, and, if that’s the case, a long-term deal could be unlikely for Garoppolo. But when his market is sluggish, a profitable short-term supply would possibly suffice. Basic supervisor Nick Caserio’s tenure within the Patriots’ entrance workplace overlapped with Garoppolo, a 2014 second-round choose. The Texans’ expertise is skinny and would possibly remind Garoppolo of what he walked into with the 49ers in his 2017 commerce.
6. CAROLINA PANTHERS
New coach Frank Reich needs quarterback stability, and that would imply bringing in Garoppolo as a plug-and-play veteran, even when they use their No. 9 choose to draft a younger quarterback. Basic supervisor Scott Fitterer was once in Seattle so he is aware of Garoppolo’s recreation. Reich has a historical past of using bodily pocket passers, and the supporting solid wants upgrading.
7. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Do they actually re-sign Geno Smith? A $30 million annual deal for him would equate to $10 million for every time he misplaced to the 49ers final season. Garoppolo may be had for a comparable price, and he has a greater observe file towards the NFC West, together with an 8-0 mark towards the Rams in regular-season motion.
8. TENNESSEE TITANS
Ran Carthon simply left the 49ers entrance workplace to turn into the Titans’ normal supervisor, and maybe he wastes no time jettisoning Ryan Tannehill in favor of a quarterback he is aware of first-hand: Garoppolo. Earlier than Purdy’s harm, it made sense for Carthon to attempt to commerce for Lance, who’s now embedded once more because the 49ers’ QB1 as a result of, nicely, he’s their solely near-healthy choice. Coach Mike Vrabel’s football-minded aggressive drive – and the Titans’ run-oriented offense — would mesh nicely with Garoppolo.
9. TAMPA BAY BUCS
One other NFC South staff? Look, perhaps Garoppolo is destined to interchange Tom Brady (see: New England 2014-17). The Bucs reached the postseason the previous three seasons, so maybe Brady engrained sufficient in them to maintain making runs. A 35-7 loss on the 49ers in December prompt in any other case. The Bucs are in wage cap hell and don’t determine to spend wildly to usher in Garoppolo or different expertise.
10. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Derek Carr would possibly beat Garoppolo to the Huge Simple first to reunite with ex-Raiders coach Dennis Allen, whose iffy job safety isn’t inspiring. New Orleans ought to have signed Garoppolo a 12 months in the past slightly than go along with Andy Dalton and Jameis Winston. The Superdome hosted certainly one of Garoppolo’s greatest video games (349 yards, 4 touchdowns) within the 49ers’ victorious 2019 go to.
The Indianapolis Colts want a quarterback, a coach and rather more to revive their Jonathan Taylor-led dashing assault. … The Atlanta Falcons’ Arthur Smith completed his second season by benching Marcus Mariota for Desmond Ridder, and that didn’t snap a five-year playoff drought. … If Lamar Jackson stubbornly bolts the Baltimore Ravens, Garoppolo be a sensible play for coach John Harbaugh and whoever replaces Greg Roman as offensive coordinator.
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