Sports | April 29, 2021 12:45 pm

Will Jimmy Garoppolo Be the Final Piece of the Great Quarterback Carousel of 2021?

One final high-profile quarterback may yet be on the move as the NFL Draft draws closer

Could quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo be on the move?
Could quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo be on the move?
Abbie Parr/Getty

The National Football League’s quarterback carousel has certainly been spinning this offseason.

Though ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter’s January prediction that more than 18 teams would change quarterbacks heading into the 2021 season doesn’t appear as if it will quite pan out, it’s going to be close.

We’ve already seen Carson Wentz traded to the Colts for draft picks, Matthew Stafford go from the Lions to the Rams in exchange Jared Goff and more compensation, Ryan Fitzpatrick sign with Washington, Andy Dalton ink a deal with Chicago and the Jets deal Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers. Then, just yesterday,Teddy Bridgewater was dealt from those same Panthers to the Denver Broncos.

That is an unprecedented amount of movement — and there could be one more QB domino to fall with the NFL Draft just hours away: Jimmy Garoppolo.

Drafted by the Patriots to replace Tom Brady, Garoppolo was eventually dealt to the 49ers for a second-round pick, since No. 12 wasn’t ready to give up the starting job in New England (with good reason). After starting just 30 games over the course of more than three injury-plagued seasons in San Francisco (one of which ended with a loss in the Super Bowl), Garoppolo appears to have fallen out of favor with 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan to the point that the 49ers already traded a haul of draft picks to the Miami Dolphins for the third selection in tonight’s draft.

Shanahan and general manager haven’t confirmed who it will be, but they have made it public knowledge they will be selecting a quarterback to replace Garoppolo. We don’t know if San Fran is planning for that replacement to take place prior to next season, but Garoppolo could be on the move if that’s the plan.

For what it’s worth, Schefter reports the chances of a Garoppolo trade before or during the draft are “remote.” “Multiple teams are expected to contact the 49ers today to inquire about the availability of QB Jimmy Garoppolo, per sources,” he tweeted. “But as of early this morning, the chances of him being traded are, in the words of one source, ‘remote.’ Let’s see if anything changes in next 72 hours.”

Schefter’s report contradicts this one from Boston sports radio host Dale Arnold.

With the Texans, Bears and likely a few other teams also probably interested in dealing for Garoppolo, the 49ers could move him (as long as the 29-year-old, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, also agrees to a deal). But if they draft a project player like Trey Lance, the Niners may want to keep Garoppolo around to be their starter in 2021. Sticking with Jimmy G would mean the team is on the hook to pay his full $24.1 million salary — an expensive insurance policy if the QB they pick at No. 3 is not ready to start as a rookie.

A trade may happen today. A trade may happen tomorrow. Or it won’t happen at all. But no matter what, trade rumors about Garoppolo are going to be constant.

Speaking of …

Get ready for more of the above as we inch closer to the draft, which kicks off in Cleveland tonight.