It’s official: impending free agent quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will not be a 49er in 2023. While speaking to reporters, head coach Kyle Shanahan said that he does not anticipate re-signing Garoppolo and will instead roll with Trey Lance and Brock Purdy. Garoppolo is no superstar, but he is a starting-caliber quarterback that should have plenty of suitors on the open market.
#49ers HC Kyle Shanahan said today that Jimmy Garoppolo won’t be back next season and he will leave San Francisco when he becomes a free agent this offseason: pic.twitter.com/xLIS2SSLvE
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) February 1, 2023
Top Five Jimmy Garoppolo Free Agent Landing Spots
1. Las Vegas Raiders
Unfortunately for Josh McDaniels, Tom Brady will not replace Derek Carr in Las Vegas. So, if Brady is off the table, then McDaniels might as well get the guy he chose to be Brady’s replacement almost 10 years ago. Going from Carr to Garoppolo is a downgrade, but not a dramatic one. While Garoppolo lacks the ability to take over a game, he can operate perfectly well within an offense, and he should be familiar with McDaniels’ scheme after spending three years together in New England.
2. New York Jets
The New York Jets have everything they need to be a competitive team in 2023 – except for the quarterback. Zach Wilson is clearly not the answer for this long-suffering franchise, yet the team still found a way to win seven games despite having a massive liability at the game’s most important position. Boasting a defense with playmakers at every level and a promising wide receiver duo in Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore, the Jets don’t need a top-five quarterback to make serious noise in the AFC East. All they need is a starting-caliber passer, and Garoppolo can provide that security.
3. New Orleans Saints
Even after the Sean Payton trade, it’s hard to imagine a world where the Saints are able to secure a top quarterback in the NFL Draft. While they should definitely look into drafting a developmental prospect, they’ll need a bridge quarterback for the 2023 season. Jimmy Garoppolo was made for this role, as he’s good enough to keep this team competitive, but not so good that an impressive second-round rookie wouldn’t be able to steal the starting job. Head coach Dennis Allen wants to run a safe, quick-passing offense, and Garoppolo thrives in that type of scheme. He’s a clear upgrade on Andy Dalton, but will the Saints be able to find the money to pay him accordingly?
4. Washington Commanders
After finishing the season with an 8-8-1 record, the Washington Commanders find themselves in NFL purgatory. They’re not good enough to make the playoffs, yet they’re too good to secure a top pick in the NFL Draft. With no clear path to grab a great prospect, the Commanders could turn to Garoppolo to provide some short-term assistance. Say what you will about the longtime 49er, but Garoppolo is much better at taking care of the ball than Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke, and Ron Rivera will appreciate that ball security.
5. Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers currently hold the ninth pick in the NFL Draft, so it’s likely that they will be able to grab one of the three or four best passers in the class. However, if they don’t fall in love with any of the prospects, they could decide to pass on the position and use Garoppolo as a bridge for the 2023 season. As sad as it is, Garoppolo would likely be the best quarterback to wear a Panthers uniform since Cam Newton left town all those years ago. His penchant for quick passes is a perfect fit for D.J. Moore, and Frank Reich’s tenure in Indianapolis proves that he knows how to get production out of older veterans. With a weak NFC South, Garoppolo would likely be good enough to lead the Panthers to a division crown.
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