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Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Why a 49ers-Panthers trade for Jimmy Garoppolo never got off the ground

Oct 3, 2022 at 10:52 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers are focused on tonight's game against the reigning Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams. However, the Carolina Panthers have already played their Week 4 game and are shifting focus toward their next opponent—the 49ers. Naturally, that led to a question for Panthers head coach Matt Rhule about quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

The Panthers were long-assumed to be a likely offseason destination for the 49ers quarterback. However, that changed when the Cleveland Browns traded Baker Mayfield to Carolina.

According to Joe Person of The Athletic, Rhule had no desire to discuss something other than what was happening this season. He didn't want to talk about Garoppolo when asked about the Panthers' interest this past offseason.

Person went on to share what he's heard regarding why trade talks between the 49ers and Panthers never got off the ground. The reasons for hesitation are probably similar to those of other potentially interested teams.

One, money was an issue. At the time, Garoppolo was set to earn a base salary of over $24 million. That number was reduced to $6.5 million after his recent contract restructure with San Francisco. Although, Garoppolo is set to earn a lot more now that he is the starter, thanks to playing incentives laid out in the deal.

Two, the Panthers had no desire to give up the draft capital that the 49ers were asking. San Francisco reportedly sought multiple selections for the veteran quarterback, seemingly deemed too much for a player with several question marks.

Three, and probably the most significant reason why the 49ers never moved the quarterback, there were health concerns. Garoppolo undergoing shoulder surgery in March scared off any interested suitors. With months of recovery ahead of him, teams didn't want to wait to see if Garoppolo made a full recovery and moved on to fill any quarterback needs.

Garoppolo remained with the 49ers. Starter Trey Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury, leaving Garoppolo as QB1 for the rest of the season. While the veteran quarterback played uninspiring football in Week 3 against the Denver Broncos, the alternative is starting rookie Brock Purdy.

Tonight at 5:15 pm PT, Garoppolo and the 49ers will host the Rams at Levi's Stadium. After that, they will shift focus to their Week 5 road opponent, the 1-3 Panthers. Garoppolo will have an opportunity to show the one-time potential suitor that he is 100 percent healthy and may have been a risk worth taking. Or, depending on how tonight and next weekend go, he may prove that they did the right thing by avoiding a trade.


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