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NFL: 3 options available to the San Francisco 49ers if they choose to move on without Jimmy Garoppolo?

San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo could be set for a hasty exit from the Levi
San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo could be set for a hasty exit from the Levi's Stadium.
ANALYST
Modified 06 Feb 2021
Rumors

A recent NFL rumor doing the rounds concerns San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's future at the franchise.

The 49ers have been linked with the likes of Texans QB Deshaun Watson and Vikings QB Kirk Cousins should Garoppolo be deemed surplus to requirements at the Levi's Stadium.

Links to the aforementioned quarterbacks have been well covered, but are there any other options available for the San Francisco 49ers heading into the postseason?

Jimmy Garoppolo may not be the man to lead the San Francisco 49ers back to the promised land

San Francisco 49ers vs Seattle Seahawks
San Francisco 49ers vs Seattle Seahawks

It's hard to rate the San Francisco 49ers' season. Kyle Shanahan's men played well in spurts but ultimately missed out on the playoffs, so the year has to be considered a disappointment overall.

The team was ravaged with injuries from start to finish. The likes of Garoppolo, himself, Nick Bosa, Raheem Mostert and Richard Sherman, all missed large chunks of the year. That eventually cost last season's Super Bowl finalists another run at the Lombardi. The San Francisco 49ers had no luck whatsoever in 2020 -- that's a fact!

With an injury record like that, all the blame cannot be laid at the feet of the QB for the San Francisco 49ers' underwhelming campaign.

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Garoppolo was injured for most of the year, but the bigger issue is that he did not play well when he was fit. A QB rating of 61.5 (from the few games he did play) puts him at 20th in the NFL, and, perhaps more concerningly, a touchdown/pick ratio of 7:5 doesn't do much for his case either.

The former New England Patriot could be set for the trade heap during the off-season, as the San Francisco 49ers look to get back to winning ways with a new man behind the line.

There are going to be a lot of quality quarterbacks available via trade or free agency over the next nine months, and NFL franchise chiefs know the importance of striking while the iron is hot.

On that note, let's take a look at the three potential fits for the San Francisco 49ers at QB besides Deshaun Watson and Kirk Cousins.

#1 Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys)

New York Giants vs Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants vs Dallas Cowboys

The expectation is that the Dallas Cowboys would offer Dak Prescott a new contract during the off-season. However, off the back of an ankle injury like the one he sustained during the third quarter against the New York Giants, there is a possibility that the Cowboys could nip this relationship in the bud.

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At the very least, Dallas's chief-executive Jerry Jones will be keeping a close eye on Dak's rehabilitation and potential comeback date before throwing any money at the Louisiana native.

Prescott was franchise-tagged last year, and this could lead to him becoming frustrated if Dallas drag negotiations on for too long. If that happens, the San Francisco 49ers could have a chance to sneak in with a big-money offer.

When fit, there is no doubting that Dak Prescott is a tier-one QB in the NFL. Before the compound fracture/dislocation of his right ankle, he was on track to break the NFL All-time-record for passing yards (1,187 yards in just 4.5 games). Moreover, a QB rating of 78.7 is a marked improvement on Jimmy Garoppolo.


#2 Mitchell Trubisky (Chicago Bears)

Houston Texans vs Chicago Bears
Houston Texans vs Chicago Bears

Bringing Mitchell Trubisky to the Levi's Stadium would be a bit of a shot in the dark. But as the Bears' franchise QB is out of contract and was replaced for half of last season by the veteran Nick Foles, Trubisky is a player one would think the San Francisco 49ers' backroom staff could have their eyes on.

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Systems can make or break players, and Matt Nagy's Bears offense is dull and uninspired, not to mention short in proven quality on the receiving corps.

As a result, nobody has seen the best version of Trubisky yet; it's more than possible that the University of North Carolina graduate could slot in nicely in Mike Shanahan's system.

The San Francisco 49ers run the ball more than any other team in the NFL, so Trubisky would just need to look after the dingus and utilize his big arm in the appropriate moments.

Trubisky, who was compared with Saints' legend Drew Brees, came out of college and was drafted second overall above the likes of Patrick Mahomes (10th) and Deshaun Watson (12th). He deserves another shot at success away from Soldierfield, in an offense that caters more to his skillset; the San Francisco 49ers could offer him that chance.


#3 Aaron Rogers (Green Bay Packers)

NFC Championship - Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Green Bay Packers
NFC Championship - Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Green Bay Packers
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Aaron Rodgers is the favorite to win the NFL MVP award later this week. He had an unbelievable year; he had the best QB rating in the NFL (84.3) and the most passing TDs (48).

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur is already on record stating that his prize asset is 'going nowhere'. However, Rodgers is yet to come out and publicly state that he wants to remain with Green Bay, and player-power is at an all-time high in the league.

Moreover, we all know what happened at the 2005 NFL Draft: the San Francisco 49ers had the number one pick but opted for Utah's Alex Smith instead of Rodgers, who ended up heading to Wisconsin with the 24th pick of the afternoon.

Rodgers did not react well to that and may still feel he has a point to prove at the Levi's Stadium.

If Rodgers does truly feel his time with the Packers is up, it may not be surprising to see him head home to the San Francisco 49ers at some stage in his career; that could even happen this year if he decides to throw his toys out of the pram.

What do you think? If the 49ers can't land Deshaun Watson or Kirk Cousins, which other QB should the franchise pursue? Have your say in the comments section:

Published 06 Feb 2021, 09:08 IST
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