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49ers Should Trade for an AFC South Quarterback

Brian Renick
Mar 17, 2021 at 4:24 PM0


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In an article I wrote back at the beginning of January, I argued that the 49ers must pursue Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson in a trade. I stand by that take, and in light of the moves they've made this offseason, I think it makes even more sense. However, the likelihood that a Watson deal gets done soon is slim, and it's not a guarantee, which is why there is another QB on an AFC South team that the 49ers should pursue right now:

Flint Gardner Minshew II, currently employed by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

I've been banging this drum, as well as fellow writer Tim Sprinkles, for about a month now. Today, Ian Rapaport reported that the Jaguars have received calls about the famously mustachioed gunslinger.


A trade for Minshew makes sense for the 49ers on a couple of levels.

  1. John Lynch has said, on multiple occasions this offseason, that the 49ers are looking to upgrade the backup quarterback position on the roster. Minshew would not only upgrade the backup position, but he could arguably challenge current starter Jimmy Garoppolo for the starting position.
  2. Minshew is incredibly affordable. In an offseason in which the 49ers have made left tackle Trent Williams the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history, along with moves to bring back fullback Kyle Juszczyk, cornerbacks Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Moseley, and the signing of center Alex Mack and EDGE Samson Ebukam, the team does not have a lot of money to achieve the stated goal of upgrading the backup QB position. Minshew has two years remaining on his contract and according to Spotrac, he is due $897,721 in 2021, and $1.012 million in 2022.

A quick look at the numbers shows that Minshew is a more than capable NFL starter. According to Pro Football Reference, these are Minshew's stats for the previous two seasons with Jacksonville:

Career Statistics
Season Team G ATT COMP PCT YDS AVG LNG TD INT
2019 Jaguars 14 470 285 60.64 3271 7 70 21 6
2020 Jaguars 9 327 216 66.06 2259 6.9 51 16 5
Total 23 797 501 62.86 5530 6.9 121 37 11

Shanahan values quarterbacks who are accurate and good decision-makers and Minshew has shown both of those traits with a career 63% completion percentage and a 1.4% interception percentage.

The Jaguars drafted Minshew out of Washington State in the 6th round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The 49ers could use one of the three 5th round selections they have in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft to pry him away from Jacksonville, which seems like more than fair compensation in return.

Trading for Gardner Minshew is not a move to shore up the quarterback position moving forward, but it would give the 49ers the flexibility to keep Jimmy Garoppolo and have a capable backup, trade or cut Garoppolo and draft a 1st-round QB, or trade for Deshaun Watson and have a quality backup in place as well.

It's time for the 49ers to go get the quarterback who Jaguar fans lovingly referred to as "Uncle Rico."

I've already got my jean shorts ready.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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