Last week, the 49ers acquired the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft from the Miami Dolphins, in exchange for San Francisco's No. 12 overall pick, plus 2022 and 2023 first-round picks, and a 2022 compensatory third-round pick.
As a by product of the NFL's biggest trade deal so far this offseason, reports in yesterday's media indicate that the 49ers are now willing to listen to trade deals for QB Jimmy Garoppolo, so long as those deals include a first-round pick.
Conflicting reports coming out of the 49ers camp, however, seem to suggest that head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager Mike Lynch have had a mild disagreement about exactly what to do with that No. 3 overall pick, and most analysts expect San Francisco to use it to pluck for a QB -- it just wouldn't make sense to give up three first-round picks and then not take one.
Regardless of the 49ers exact plans for the draft and beyond, the tumultuous situation in California leaves the former Super-Bowl-winning Patriot, Garropolo, in a bit of a predicament:
Jimmy G is good enough to act as the signal-caller for a host of NFL teams (Hi, Bears fans). It's doubtful he'll want to play second-fiddle to some hotshot new rookie at the Levi's Stadium, and he's young enough to rightly shirk the responsibility of molding one, too.
So, what is going on in San Francisco?
NFL Trade Rumors: What have the 49ers said about the Garoppolo situation?
Earlier this week, reports emerged that Shanahan and Lynch are at least in agreement that Garoppolo remains a key part of the 49ers' immediate plans. But again, it's hard to equate the pair's recent comments with the act of surrendering all those first-round picks to the Dolphins. There's an element of hypocrisy creeping into play here; things are not adding up.
NFL Trade Rumors: Coach Shanahan had this to say at the most recent 49ers' press conference:
“I’m sure Jimmy was a little pissed off from it, just like I’d be too,” Shanahan said. “But me knowing Jimmy, he’ll be fired up and come in and work his butt off. The more mad Jimmy gets, usually the better he gets. So if he gets madder and stays healthy, this is going to be a good thing for Jimmy, too, which could be a great problem for the 49ers. I hope Jimmy’s alright with it and I expect him to be.”
Perhaps this has all been a deliberate ploy to light a firecracker up Garoppolo's backside; perhaps not.
More likely the 49ers have grown tired of Garoppolo's injury history. The QB has missed 23 of the 49ers' last 48 games. On the matter, coach Shanahan said:
"It’s not like we’re giving up on Jimmy because he can’t play or anything. Jimmy can play. He only got to do it one year. We also like the person, too. We also know we can’t go through a year of what’s happened two of the last three years. That’s something we have to protect the organization with."
Let's not forget that, with Jimmy G on IR due to a persistent ankle sprain, San Francisco had to field QB duo Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard for the majority of the team's 2020 campaign. The backup QBs played hard, but with Garoppolo and other key players (Nick Bosa, Raheem Mostert, et al) absent for much of the year, the 49ers failed to make the playoffs.
With the above in mind, it's clearer to see why the 49ers would want to create a viable and exciting plan B where the QB depth chart is concerned.
It's just perhaps not such great news for Jimmy G!
The NFL Network's Mike Giardi claims the 49ers are asking for a first-round pick from franchises sniffing around a Jimmy Garoppolo trade deal.
Despite all the confusion regarding how the 49ers spend their No. 3 pick, and what exactly is going on with Jimmy Garoppolo, one thing is etched in gold: if San Francisco does choose to trade Garoppolo away this year, potential suitors, such as the Bears and Patriots, will have to cough up key players or first-round picks, or both to him.
NFL Trade Rumors: NFL Network’s Mike Giardi recently stated as much on air:
If the 49ers can persuade the Bears to part with their No. 20 pick, or get the Pats to part with their No. 15 pick for Garoppolo, they'd have to be considered a good bit of business from the San Francisco war room: the team would end up with two first-round 2021 draft picks, with one of them equating to a new QB franchise.
That being said, the 49ers are in a strong position regardless: if Jimmy G starts ahead of the new QB in 2021, he's a good player, so no harm is done; if he is kept around as back up to help nurture a new rookie QB, well, Jimmy G might not like it, but it would certainly provide great depth on the roster. San Francisco looks good in both scenarios. Plus, Jimmy G is likely to command a decent trade value next year too, so it's not like the 49ers need be in a rush to make a deal. Lynch and co. can sit and wait it out, and they'll know that.
The only way the 49ers come out of all this trade madness looking sheepish is if they select a dud with that No. 3 overall pick...