Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports



One quarterback who may see a lot of demand this offseason isn't even going to be a free agent. New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has spent his NFL career backing up future Hall of Famer Tom Brady. Garoppolo has taken 235 regular-season snaps and 422 preseason snaps during his three-year career. His sample size of NFL plays is minimal, yet quarterback-needy teams will still likely take a hard look at his potential to be a franchise quarterback.

ESPN senior writer Mike Sando recently spoke with a number of NFL decision-makers and received mixed opinions on Garoppolo's worth. In a recent column, Sando sized up potential Garoppolo trade offers for six QB-needy teams, including the San Francisco 49ers.

Potential Offers for Garoppolo
Lower bid 2017 2nd-round selection
2017 5th-round selection
Higher bid 2017 2nd-round selection
2018 1st-round selection

The lower offer included a 2017 second-round and 2017 fifth-round selection. The higher offer included a 2017 second-round and 2018 first-round selection. That is a pretty large difference, yet still, lower than what NFL decision-makers estimated for the other five NFL clubs. The reason for that is because, unlike other teams, the 49ers don't have the same urgency to win immediately and can afford to build their roster more methodically. After all, both their head coach and general manager received six-year contracts, so there is plenty of time to identify the right personnel at each position – including quarterback.

"Acquiring Garoppolo could be the 49ers' first step in loosely replicating the setup Shanahan enjoyed while coordinating the Atlanta Falcons' offense," writes Sando. "With their version of Matt Ryan in place via Garoppolo, they could maneuver within the first round to select Clemson receiver Mike Williams, a less blazing version of Julio Jones."

Last year, the Minnesota Vikings gave up more for Sam Bradford than the lower offer for the 49ers. "The Bradford trade was one of the biggest panic moves of all time, and you can say it made sense for Minnesota to do it, but I did not think that was the case, and I don't think that becomes the market," one insider told Sando. "Philly basically got bailed out by a team that was desperate."

Of course, the higher offer would exceed what the Vikings gave up for Bradford and potentially change the landscape for future trades – especially for desperate teams.

The other five teams on the list include the Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and Houston Texans. "There was no consensus on where Garoppolo would wind up if New England did trade him, but one insider made a sinister case for the Jets," writes Sando.

Why would a trade within the division make sense? The insider says because the Patriots would get stronger and the Jets would get weaker due to the exchange of draft picks. And if the Patriots believe that Garoppolo is just an OK quarterback, then that benefits them even more.

Insiders believe that Chicago and Cleveland are other high-potential destinations if New England were to look outside of the division.