Jimmy Garoppolo trade rumors: Where 49ers stand on moving franchise QB

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Darren Hartwell
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What will it take for 49ers to trade Jimmy Garoppolo? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

You could argue Jimmy Garoppolo is the New England Patriots' most logical option at quarterback in 2021.

But that argument assumes the San Francisco 49ers will part with their starting quarterback.

While trade rumors around Garoppolo have swirled this offseason, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler suggested Sunday on SportsCenter that there's a good chance the QB remains in San Francisco.

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"I'm told San Fran is looking at potential upgrades, but they still like Jimmy G," Fowler said, via Bleacher Report. "He's 24-9 as a starter, including the playoffs, with the Niners. They believe they can win with him, but it would take a big swing, like a Deshaun Watson effect here, to make that change." And I'm told that the 49ers are one of the teams that Watson's at least intrigued by."

Watson would be a significant upgrade over Garoppolo, so if 49ers can work out a trade for the Houston Texans' star quarterback, they'll likely jump at the chance. Such a deal wouldn't completely rule out the Patriots, either: New England is one of the few teams that can take on Garoppolo's $24.1 million salary in 2021, so the cash-strapped Texans could move Jimmy G. to the Patriots as part of a multi-team deal.

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Fowler noted Houston has shown no interest in trading Watson, however, and it sounds like the 49ers may be content with Garoppolo if they don't do business with the Texans.

"The Texans have made clear they're not willing to deal Watson right now," Fowler added. "Garoppolo's still a viable option for San Fran."

While Garoppolo hasn't developed into an elite quarterback, he still led the 49ers to the Super Bowl two years ago. And with Matthew Stafford off the trade market, there aren't many QBs available outside Watson who would make San Francisco much better.

So, if Patriots fans want a shot at a Jimmy G. reunion, they'll hope the Texans change heart and deal Watson to San Francisco.