49ers COs set to trade for Jimmy Garoppolo;  The Browns were interested in the FA deal

49ers COs set to trade for Jimmy Garoppolo; The Browns were interested in the FA deal

Compared to the offseasons leading into the 2020s, this decade has brought more movement among veteran quarterbacks. While the 49ers are now grateful for their efforts to be part of this year’s action-packed QB carousel, as Trey Lance came out for the season they expected Jimmy Garoppolo to end up somewhere else.

John Lynch said he was speaking to several Combine teams about moving the longtime QB1 from San Francisco. One of them seems to be the commanders. During the first part of Garoppolo’s complex year, before his shoulder surgery, the 49ers thought the Commanders would be the team to trade for the ninth-year passer, according to ESPN’s Tim Keown and Nick Wagoner .com.

With Ron Rivera indicating that Commanders were pursuing several veteran QBs this offseason – one that included a three-round first-round offer for Russell Wilson – it’s pretty clear that Garoppolo was on the team’s radar. But March’s shoulder surgery — a procedure Garoppolo’s camp believed they could avoid — changed everything, causing the market to stall for months.

Teams were concerned about Garoppolo’s schedule and his willingness to take a pay cut, notes Jeff Howe of The Athletic (subscription required). Barely a week after learning Garoppolo would be undergoing shoulder surgery, Washington moved on to Carson Wentzacquiring the former No. 2 overall pick for two Day 2 draft picks and a second-round pick trade in 2022.

Such a carry would have been a value shot for the 49ers, who were eyeing the prospect of releasing Garoppolo. But the 49ers’ Super Bowl hopes once again hinge on the availability of their injury-hunted starter. Garoppolo’s ACL tear in 2018 didn’t seem to derail a Super Bowl threat, but his ankle condition in 2020 certainly hurt one. The 30-year-old setter’s three injuries last season (calf, thumb, shoulder) limited him to points, with the last two issues plaguing him in the playoffs.

It was right in the middle of training camp, [Kyle Shanahan] somehow he just called me one day and pitched the idea, and it wasn’t even on my radar until he said something about it“, Garoppolo said of the team’s offer to bring him back on a restructured deal, via SI.com’s Albert Breer.”And then he sort of exposed it and obviously restructuring is what it is, I think it had to be done just with the situation. I know that sounds weird, but things kind of fell into place, honestly. It wasn’t like I planned this to happen or anything.

…I mean, honestly, at one point, I didn’t think I was going to be a Niner. I was pretty determined to go to a few different teams that I had in mind. And then all of a sudden things changed at the last second.”

Lynch initially approached Shanahan about returning to Garoppolo, according to ESPN, but the sixth-year HC didn’t expect Garoppolo to accept a back-up role or a restructure that would reduce his salary. Garoppolo was expected to earn $24.2 million in base salary; that number fell to 6.5 million. But the incentive package that can boost the deal to $15.45 million has already started paying off. Garoppolo receives $250,000 for each game in which he takes at least 25% of the offensive snaps. Each game in which this break point is reached and the 49ers win produces an additional $100,000.

Had the restructuring not taken place and a Garoppolo exit had occurred, ESPN adds that the Browns were open to exploring a free agency addition. Conflicting reports have emerged over Cleveland’s interest in adding Garoppolo as their best Deshaun Watson replacement option, with the addition of five games to the suspension of the new Browns starter sparking these rumors. Although the 49ers gave other teams permission to negotiate a revised deal with Garoppolo, the Browns joined the rest of the NFL in refusing to part with assets for him. The Rams were interested in a possible free agency deal with Garoppolo; the Seahawks were also believed to be interested in such a deal. Instead, Garoppolo reappeared to lead the 49ers to a one-sided win over Seattle.

Jacoby Brisset will be asked to complete the 11-game bridge with Watson, while Wentz is still on the Eagles extension he signed in 2019. Commanders signed him until 2024, although no guaranteed money is on the deal beyond this season. Garoppolo is on track for free agency in 2023.


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