National Football League

Jimmy Garoppolo's future with San Francisco 49ers grows cloudier after big trade

March 29

The fallout from Friday's blockbuster trades in the NFL will take years to completely settle, but more immediate ramifications could be forthcoming.

First, a quick recap: The San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles shook up the NFL landscape Friday with their game of first-round-pick hot potato.

The Niners ultimately snagged the No. 3 overall pick in April's draft, the Dolphins ended up No. 6, and the Eagles dropped out of the top 10 to No. 12.

As FOX Sports NFL Analyst Geoff Schwartz pointed out immediately following the trade announcements, San Francisco's decision to move up the draft board puts a major spotlight on incumbent Niners QB Jimmy Garoppolo.

Considering the amount of capital the Niners gave up, it'd be stunning if they weren't eyeing one of the top quarterbacks in the draft.

Clemson star Trevor Lawrence going to the Jacksonville Jaguars with the No. 1 overall pick is as close to a sure thing as can be. For reference, FOX Bet has Lawrence priced at -10000 to go with the first pick, meaning a bettor would need to risk $10,000 to net a $100 profit.

The New York Jets are also expected to go the quarterback route, though whom they'll turn to is less clear.

At No. 3 overall, San Francisco can draft whichever of the following top quarterbacks the Jets don't take: Zach Wilson from BYUJustin Fields from Ohio StateMac Jones from Alabama or Trey Lance from North Dakota State.

As Shannon Sharpe noted on Monday's "Undisputed," the writing is on the wall for Jimmy G in San Francisco.

"I like what the Niners did ... It tells me they're in position to get a QB. ... This tells me Jimmy G is not in their long-term [future]."

Hear what Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe have to say about the 49ers' decision to move up to the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Reliability and availability have been big issues for Garoppolo since the 49ers acquired him from the New England Patriots ahead of the 2017 season. In four seasons with the Niners, the 29-year-old QB has started only 30 of 64 potential regular-season games.

Of course, in the one season in which he finished all 16 regular-season matchups, he took the Niners to the Super Bowl.

That stretch didn't appear to buy Jimmy G too much goodwill, though, particularly his performance on the biggest stage.

As a result, it isn't a complete shock that the Niners are positioning themselves for a top rookie QB after another injury-plagued 2020 season from Garoppolo.

As Nick Wright of "First Things First" said, the Niners would ideally put themselves in a situation similar to what the Kansas City Chiefs did in 2017, when they had Alex Smith in-house to serve as a bridge to Patrick Mahomes.

What if Garoppolo isn't interested in serving as a seat-warmer for a rookie quarterback? Wright also addressed that:

For their part, the Niners have publicly said Garoppolo is part of their 2021 plans unless they're "blown away" by a trade offer.

And the quarterback hasn't done as Wright mentioned and tried to force the issue.

But come draft night, should the 49ers announce the "quarterback of the future" with the third overall pick, will both sides still be seeing eye to eye?


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