Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo Expected to Draw Significant Interest in Free Agency

Impending San Francisco 49ers free agent quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will have no shortage of suitors this offseason. Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo, teams that could be interested in the Super Bowl LIV starter could include the Tennessee Titans, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Houston Texans, and Las Vegas Raiders. Garoppolo has been an effective quarterback when healthy for the 49ers, compiling a 38-17 record while averaging 238.6 passing yards per game with a 99.6 passer rating. Unfortunately, "when healthy" has been a pretty big caveat: he has started only 55 of a possible 90 games since joining the team in 2017. His unavailability and perceived low ceiling led the 49ers to break the bank to draft Trey Lance third overall in 2021. With Lance's presence on the roster and the emergence of 2022 seventh-round pick Brock Purdy as a viable starter, the 49ers have no place for Garoppolo.

Of the teams listed by Rapoport and Garafolo, the Raiders present Garoppolo with the greatest opportunity for success. He spent more than three seasons with head coach Josh McDaniels as the backup quarterback for the New England Patriots, and the Raiders have All-Pros at wide receiver and running back in Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs. The Raiders have also thoroughly burned bridges with their starter Derek Carr.

As for the other teams bandied about, it's hard to imagine Garoppolo presenting a truly meaningful upgrade for any of them. The Titans already have competence at quarterback in Ryan Tannehill, the Texans don't have the infrastructure to support a quarterback, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will need at least a year to rebuild their roster following Tom Brady's retirement. The Jets were arguably adequate quarterback play away from earning a playoff berth in 2022, but signing Garoppolo would likely demand too significant an investment; it would equate to completely giving up on 2021 second-overall pick Zach Wilson.
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