Will Jimmy Garoppolo be traded during the draft?

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On Thursday night, we’ll finally learn which of the quarterbacks the 49ers will select with the third overall pick. On Friday or Saturday, we’ll possibly learn the next destination of their current starter.

Peter King floats in his Football Morning in America column the notion that the 49ers could make Jimmy Garoppolomore available than he’s been.” King suggests that the 49ers could lower their expectations of a first-round pick for Garoppolo to a round-two selection. That would essentially become a reimbursement for the second-round pick the 49ers gave up during the 2017 season to get Garoppolo.

King also ponders whether the Patriots would give up the 46th overall pick in the 2021 draft or a 2022 second-round pick to get Garoppolo. (Former Patriots tight end Jermaine Wiggins’ recent commentary regarding the way other New England players viewed Garoppolo could make that destination less likely. Also, we’ve continuously heard that coach Bill Belichick remains a very big believer in Cam Newton.)

The biggest problem with a Garoppolo trade to any team continues to be his compensation package for 2021 of $25 million. Given the current cap climate, that’s just too much for a guy who can’t stay healthy on a consistent basis.

So Garoppolo would undoubtedly be required to take less in order to facilitate a trade. Maybe he won’t. Or maybe he will, given that the 49ers could otherwise squat on his contract (none of which is guaranteed) and release him right before the regular season begins, making it much more difficult for him to get properly ensconced (or, in New England, re-sconced) in an offense and to compete for playing time.

The other possibility for the 49ers would be to sit tight with their reported request of a first-round pick, placing a bet that a starter somewhere will get injured between now and September. That’s what the Eagles did five years ago with Sam Bradford. Teddy Bridgewater‘s fluke ACL tear opened the door for Philly to get a first- and fourth-round pick, and then to turn the page to rookie Carson Wentz.

Whether it’s this week or next month or the month after or whenever, it’s still very hard to envision the 49ers keeping Garoppolo around, given that so many of the players currently on the team support him. The last thing the Niners need is a quarterback-driven schism; the sooner they unload Garoppolo, the better.

If that’s going to happen this week, it’s definitely going to require some flexibility from Garoppolo. It also may require some flexibility from the 49ers, since even a second-round pick seems like too much to expect for a guy who has missed 23 games in the last three seasons.

Will Jimmy Garoppolo be traded during the draft? originally appeared on Pro Football Talk