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NFL

Jimmy Garoppolo possible destinations: Where could the QB play next season?

As he approaches free agency, the former 49ers QB faces an uncertain future. Clearly a solid signal caller, but one who hasn’t started for some time, where to next?

Jimmy Garoppolo and 49ers stuck in the middle in absence of trade options
Harry HowAFP

With the QB now set to hit the free agency market, we’re taking a look at a few possible land spots for a player who hasn’t always had the best time in the league, but by all means is as reliable as they come when it comes to playing in the pocket.

Jimmy Garoppolo’s possible destinations

Following his time in New England, where he served as back up QB to Tom Brady, the Eastern Illinois product moved to the San Francisco 49ers. Between untimely injuries and the arrival of first- round pick Trey Lance, it was a difficult time for Garoppolo in the bay area. Indeed, after Lance was named the starter ahead of the 2022 season, it looked like the team only retained him to serve as a mentor for the young up and coming star. Following a Week 1 injury to Lance, however, things changed for Garoppolo until he himself was injured.

To be clear, this is not to say Garoppolo isn’t good. Though he played as a backup with the Patriots, he was part of two Super Bowl winning teams. In this, his last season with the 49ers, he went 7-3 in the ten games that he started, throwing 2,437 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, and four interceptions, while adding an additional two TDs on the ground. This is all to say, that we’re talking about a QB who can play at a high level and knows how to command an offense. With that in mind, here’re a look at where he could end up now that he and the team are set to go their separate ways.

Las Vegas Raiders

The 2022-23 NFL season was not a good one for the Las Vegas Raiders and though it may sound harsh, a major part of the reason for that was quarterback, Derek Carr. As such, the team is now in the market for a new signal caller and Jimmy G could indeed be the perfect acquisition for them. Consider for a moment that this is a team that has some extremely lethal weapons, such as wide receiver Davante Adams, who is without doubt one of the best pass catchers in the NFL. If they can sort out the situation with Josh Jacobs, they could also soon have one of the best running backs in the league.

While it’s true, that the Raiders currently hold the seventh overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, with which they could potentially acquire a quarterback, they could also use that pick to reinforce another position on the roster. Should they go with the latter option, it would pave the way for Garoppolo - a proven QB who has won everything - to step into the fray.

New York Jets

Like the aforementioned Raiders, the Jets are a team that suffered this past campaign and in large part due to the performance of their quarterback, Zach Wilson. The difference, is that said QB was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 draft. Wilson looked promising at times and downright awful at others. Sadly, both Mike White and Joe Flacco who stepped in for him, weren’t much better. To be fair to New York and their signal callers, the team did start the season with a 5-2 record, but to be clear about New York, they finished it on 7-10 with six consecutive losses to close out the campaign.

Where other parts of the Jets’ machine are concerned, they are actually a team with real potential. From Garrett Wilson, to Elijah Moore and Breece Hall, this is a team that poses a real threat if they could just find the right player for the center of the field. Could that be Garoppolo? It remains to be seen, but they certainly can’t do worse.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

There’s an element of poetic irony to a Garoppolo in Tampa Bay scenario. If you recall, it was Garoppolo who was drafted by the Patriots and found himself playing as No. 2 behind the legendary Tom Brady. Now that Brady is set to call time on his career, one has to admit, it would be the stuff of TV to see Garoppolo take the reins down south. There’s also the fact, that the Bucs seem to be veteran friendly, with the large majority of the roster being the same as it was when they won the Super Bowl two years ago.

Were Garoppolo to join the team, it’s likely his arrival wouldn’t require a great deal of change when it comes to strategy and tactics and with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin still among the best pass catchers in the league, we can’t imagine Garoppolo would struggle with his targets. Over and above all of this, Garoppolo is actually a very decent QB which is to say he could very much offer a boost to a team that at times was simply staying afloat with Brady at the helm.