Jimmy Garoppolo Landing Spots: Could the Panthers, Steelers, Texans or Washington be potential destinations?

    What are the potential landing spots for Jimmy Garoppolo if the San Francisco 49ers decide to move on from the QB this offseason?

    The future of San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo is much discussed, but where are his potential landing spots if he does depart this offseason? Let’s take a look at Garoppolo’s contract situation, his performances in 2021, and his potential landing spots as a 2022 NFL free agent.

    Jimmy Garoppolo landing spots

    Garoppolo still has one more year remaining on his contract after the 2021 season. In 2022, he is due $24.2 million in salary, with an $800,000 roster bonus and a $600,000 workout bonus. However, none of that money is guaranteed. Therefore, if the 49ers decide to release or trade Garoppolo, they would only be left with $1.4 million in dead money.

    After a tough stretch earlier in the season, Garoppolo has somewhat salvaged his reputation in recent weeks. Going back to Week 8, Garoppolo has completed 69% of his passes for 258 yards per game with 12 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.

    In 2021, Pro Football Network’s Offensive Value Metric has graded Garoppolo as the sixth-most valuable QB within his offensive environment. For all of the criticism leveled at Garoppolo, he’s effectively doing what the 49ers ask of him. The problem is that the numbers do not light up the scoreboard.

    Still, there’s no guarantee the 49ers will decide to move on. If they do not feel Trey Lance is ready to start, they may look to ride out another year with Jimmy G leading the offense. Yet, if San Francisco decides they are finished with Garoppolo, which teams might be in the running for him?

    Would the New York Giants be willing to swap Daniel Jones for Garoppolo?

    This is an intriguing potential fit for Garoppolo. In terms of ceiling, he is arguably not an upgrade of Jones. Additionally, Garoppolo is not that much of an improvement over Jones in terms of ball security. In 37 starts, Jones has 29 interceptions and 36 fumbles. In contrast, in 45 starts, Garoppolo has 34 interceptions and 26 fumbles.

    The problem is that the Giants cannot really look to rebuild. They just invested heavily in free agency in 2021, and simply blowing it up does not seem like a viable option. Therefore, they may turn to another veteran in Garoppolo to try and spark the team. Unfortunately, it is not a certainty that he can lead this team to more success than Jones has.

    Could the Carolina Panthers go down the route of another veteran QB?

    The Panthers have a long list of “tried and moved on from” QBs already in the Matt Rhule reign. They started with Teddy Bridgewater. Then, they moved on to Sam Darnold and Cam Newton. Entering Week 16, they have now fired offensive coordinator Joe Brady and still have no idea who their QB of the future is.

    The Panthers could turn to the draft, but it feels like Rhule might already be under pressure in Carolina. If that is the case, he really needs to turn to another veteran for instant results. Garoppolo has proven he can manage a roster nicely if the talent is around him. The Panthers certainly have talent on both sides of the ball, making this an intriguing fit.

    Washington might be the ideal landing spot for Garoppolo

    Another team that has a ton of talent but no one to steer the ship is Washington. The Dwayne Haskins experiment failed quickly. Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a brutal injury, and Taylor Heinicke has been unconvincing. Now Washington has a choice: turn to the draft, or look for another veteran.

    This really does feel like a perfect fit for Garoppolo. They have the likes of Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gibson, and Logan Thomas under contract. The defense is also loaded with talent, and this should be a roster that can compete. Furthermore, they have $60 million in projected cap space to upgrade the roster to challenge the Cowboys in the NFC East.

    Would the acquisition of Jimmy G help the Steelers stay competitive?

    As Ben Roethlisberger’s reign comes to an end in Pittsburgh, they need a solution at QB. The Steelers have the roster to be competitive, and they do not need a QB to perform magic. They simply need a player who can come in and operate a competent offense.

    That is what makes this an enticing landing spot for Garoppolo. The Steelers have $43.7 million in projected cap space to invest in other players to help them on a playoff run. Thus, Garoppolo could be the ideal QB to come in and keep their window open as a challenger while they look to the draft for their future franchise QB.

    Could a move to the Houston Texans make sense for both sides?

    The Texans’ QB situation is delicate with the uncertainty surrounding Deshaun Watson. Davis Mills is undergoing an audition to finish out the year, but the jury is out on him. The problem for Houston is that they need to self-scout in the short term. Do they believe they are a QB away from challenging for the division in 2022? If so, then this could be an interesting landing spot for Garoppolo.

    The problem is that Jimmy G is not a player that will elevate the offense. Ideally, he needs to be surrounded by quality players to take a team into the playoffs. The only real star players the Texans have are WR Brandin Cooks and OT Laremy Tunsil. They will need more than that for Garoppolo to make them a challenger.

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