Several days ago, the 49ers essentially invited one or more of the other 31 teams to make an offer, any offer, for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Since then, there has been (checks Twitter) no reporting of any team, name or unnamed, having interest in Garoppolo.
It appears that the 49ers and Garoppolo have decided, at least for now, to wait for a starting quarterback with another team to suffer a season-ending injury. It would be a win-win for team and player; the 49ers would get a more significant return, and Garoppolo would be more likely to get all or most of his $25 million compensation package for the final year of his current contract.
But season-ending injuries to starting quarterbacks don’t happen on a regular basis during training camp (where they aren’t touched) or the preseason (where they rarely play). Unless a starter goes down or someone makes a bargain-basement offer (and Garoppolo agrees to a much lower salary), he’s getting cut — likely when the rosters move to 53.
Eventually, he’ll join another team. He’s on the fringe of the top twenty, which means that roughly 10 starters are worse than him. So, yes, he’ll get another opportunity.
The folks at DraftKings have posted three favorites. The Seahawks have the shortest odds, +275. Next, the Dolphins (sorry, TuAnon) at +330. In third position are the Texans, at +400.
Seattle would be a compelling landing spot, for obvious reasons. Including the fact that Seattle visits San Francisco in Week Two. For now, however, coach Pete Carroll seems to be intent to make it work with Geno Smith or Drew Lock.
Of course, Miami would be a compelling outcome, too. They have Teddy Bridgewater on board as the backup. The Dolphins presumably would pick Garoppolo as the potential replacement not for the backup but for the starter.
Does that sound crazy? Ask yourself this question. Which quarterback between Jimmy Garoppolo and Tua Tagovailoa is more accomplished? Which one would be the more likely to get the most out of an otherwise stacked Miami team, with former 49ers assistant Mike McDaniel running the show with the Kyle Shanahan offense?
It seems unlikely, since the Dolphins are all in on Tua. After, of course, they tried to get Deshaun Watson in 2021 and Tom Brady in 2022. Other than that, they’re all in with Tua.
So how all in are they? They clearly made a mistake by taking Tua over Justin Herbert with the fifth pick in the 2020 draft. Some teams that make a mistake admit it and move on, which the Dolphins tried to do by pursuing Watson and Brady. Other teams that make mistakes double down. Which the Dolphins may be doing now.
Maybe it’s just a question of whether the Dolphins can make a big upgrade or a mild one. Regardless, the folks who have every reason to know the lay of the land have the Dolphins at 3.3-to-1 to get Garoppolo.
Finally, the Texans. Their G.M., Nick Caserio, drafted Garoppolo in New England eight years ago. They claim to be ready to go with Davis Mills. Which is exactly the best way to play it, if they’re secretly waiting for a chance to snatch Garoppolo as a low-cost free agent.
Which he absolutely will be, unless a starting quarterback blows out an Achilles or rips up an ACL in the next month.