At first glance, it doesn't make any sense for the San Francisco 49ers to make a trade for quarterback Sam Darnold.
But that is something that could happen if the San Francisco 49ers decide to part ways with starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason, according to ESPN NFL reporter Jeremy Fowler.
NFL Trade Rumors: Are the San Francisco 49ers ready to unload Garoppolo?
Garoppolo is currently sidelined for the next 6-8 weeks -- possibly longer -- with a high ankle sprain, another in a long list of injuries that have plagued his career.
Garoppolo is in his third full season with the 49ers. He has missed significant time with injuries in two of those seasons. After his internship with the New England Patriots as Tom Brady's backup earned him two Super Bowl rings, Jimmy G was traded to the San Francisco 49ers midway through the 2017 season with high expectations as the projected starter.
In 2018, his first full season with the 49ers, Garoppolo tore the ACL in his knee. In 2019, he stayed healthy and helped San Francisco make it to the Super Bowl. This season, it's the ankle.
ESPN's Fowler said the San Francisco 49ers may be willing to move on from the injury-prone quarterback.
If they do that, Fowler says, the team could look for a young, athletic QB to take over as the starter. That QB could be Sam Darnold.
NFL Trade Rumors: Is Darnold the right fit for the San Francisco 49ers?
Darnold is currently the starter on the New York Jets, who are 0-8 and definitely the worst team in the NFL. Darnold was supposed to be New York's franchise QB when they took him No. 3 in the 2018 NFL Draft, but he hasn't played up to expectations.
If the Jets end up with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft, they'd be expected to take Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence. That would make Darnold expendable. Which would make him available if a team like the San Francisco 49ers wants him.
The 49ers as a team have been ravaged by injuries this season -- not just to Garoppolo. Pretty much every position group has been effected: Running back Raheem Mostert, receiver Deebo Samuel, offensive tackle Trent Williams, defensive end Nick Bosa, cornerback Richard Sherman ... the injuries have the San Francisco 49ers currently sitting at 3-4 and unlikely to make the playoffs in a tough NFC West division.
When they get healthy, the 49ers would have enough talent to become a championship contender again. Would they really want to bring in a quarterback who is statistically one of the worst starters in the league and leading the league's only winless team this season?
In Darnold's defense, he does have talent. And you could blame his statistical shortcomings on the fact that he isn't surrounded by much talent on the Jets. If he were on a better team, Darnold could immediately become a better quarterback.
It sounds strange at first, but Sam Darnold to the San Francisco 49ers could actually work for both sides.