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La Canfora: Bears will make a strong push for Jimmy Garoppolo

Feb 2, 2017 at 2:26 PM--


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On Thursday, Pro Football Focus gave us a list of the top targets for quarterback-needy teams. With Colin Kaepernick expected to void his contract and test free agency and no other quarterback signed in 2017, the San Francisco 49ers are expected to be one of those teams. New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was on that list from Pro Football Focus and the 49ers have long been expected to be one of the teams that might make a push to acquire him.

Another quarterback that has been linked to the 49ers is Kirk Cousins of the Washington Redskins. Of course, Washington is expected to place the franchise tag on Cousins, making the cost to acquire him two first-round draft picks and likely a blockbuster contract. While money is not really an issue for the 49ers, for a team that is talent depleted, surrendering the draft picks may be. The cost to acquire Garoppolo from the Patriots would likely be less than that of acquiring Cousins, which is why the New England quarterback's name has remained in the rumor mill.

The Cleveland Browns have already been reported as one of the teams that might show interest in Garoppolo. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports has identified another team that may give the 49ers a little competition should they choose to pursue Garoppolo – the Chicago Bears.

"The Chicago Bears will make a strong, concerted effort to acquire quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from the Patriots, according to sources with knowledge of the situation," writes La Canfora. "The Illinois native is far and away their top offseason priority."

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Chicago is expected to move on from Jay Cutler, who coincidently has recently been vaguely linked to the 49ers as well. "Many teams view Garoppolo as the best option of all potential free-agent or trade targets, and the Bears will have competition," La Canfora continued. "Teams like the Browns, Jets and 49ers could provide opposition, but the Bears' intent and willingness to complete a trade could not be more serious."

According to La Canfora, the Bears have done extensive homework on Garoppolo and feel he is a quarterback who they can build around. "The Bears are prepared to engage in talks on Garoppolo at the combine later this month, or sooner if need be," writes La Canfora.

The 49ers have a new general manager, hiring former NFL safety John Lynch on Sunday. Soon, they will have a new head coach in Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, but his focus right now is Super Bowl LI. Lynch has promised to be more aggressive in acquiring talent and Shanahan will need a quarterback with whom to work.

Due to the four-game suspension of starting quarterback Tom Brady, Garoppolo started two games for the Patriots to kick off the 2016 season. He completed 24 of 33 passes for 264 yards and a touchdown in New England's 23-21 Week 1 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Garoppolo was supposed to start all four games but was sidelined with a sprained AC joint during the second quarter of the Week 2 contest against the Miami Dolphins.

Garoppolo has a 107.4 career passer rating. Of course, that is just through 93 career passes. He has five touchdowns and no interceptions through a small sample size of 16 games and only two starts. Garoppolo has completed 67.7 percent of his career passes. No 49ers quarterback completed more than 59.2 percent of his passes in 2016.



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