Jimmy Garoppolo trade: Panthers remain post-NFL draft 49ers option for deal

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Panthers remain possible post-draft trade option for Jimmy G originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Carolina Panthers still have a need at quarterback with few options still available to them.

The Panthers own the No. 6 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. After that, Carolina does not have another pick scheduled until the fourth round, No. 137 overall.

So if the Panthers address one of their other needs in the first round, the door would remain open for them to pursue a veteran quarterback, such as Jimmy Garoppolo or Baker Mayfield, after the draft.

“We’ll evaluate the whole landscape to see what’s out there,” Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said Tuesday during a press briefing. “We’ll talk directly to different teams. We’re not just sitting here looking solely at the draft. We’re looking at every option.”

Sam Darnold and P.J. Walker are the only quarterbacks on the Panthers' offseason roster.

Fitterer declined to speak about specific veteran quarterbacks. The Cleveland Browns last month acquired Deshaun Watson to take Mayfield’s job. Mayfield remains under contract to the Browns, who are trying to trade him.

The 49ers would like to trade Garoppolo to save $25 million in cap space, collect a draft capital and clear the way for Trey Lance to take over as the starter.

The 49ers selected Lance with the No. 3 overall pick, and both coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have said they believe Lance is ready to start.

“Why are some quarterbacks available who are out on the market? You have to ask yourself that,” Fitterer said.

Garoppolo likely would have been traded long again if he did not undergo surgery on March 8 on his throwing shoulder, which requires an expected four-month recovery time.

“Jimmy is working hard in the rehab process,” Lynch said on Monday in Santa Clara. “He did his surgery down in Los Angeles and is doing the rehab down there. We've been in contact with his representation and in communication with him.

"I think the progress is good. So, he's tracking kind of right where we said, throwing towards the end of June and then ramping it up from there. So, that's where that's at.”

RELATED: Why Lynch believes Lance is ready to be 49ers' starting QB

Lynch promises the 49ers will remain patient with Garoppolo, who has a $7.5 million injury guarantee. The 49ers figure to hold onto Garoppolo for as long as possible for him to clear a physical and see if a trade opportunity develops.

“We like things that Jimmy brings to the table,” Lynch said. “And so, we're doing what we think is best for our team and for Jimmy by keeping him with us for right now.”

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