NFL rumors: 49ers 'very interested' in Deshaun Watson, 'high' on Sam Darnold

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Dalton Johnson
·3 min read
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Report: 49ers 'very interested' in Watson, 'high' on Darnold originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Quarterback speculation has taken over Super Bowl LV, and the 49ers find themselves right in the thick of it. 

One year after Jimmy Garoppolo helped lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl, San Francisco could be looking to go another direction at the position. This offseason is expected to have an unprecedented amount of QBs find new homes, and Garoppolo could be one of them. The 49ers reportedly still have their eyes on what is seen as the biggest prize on the trade market right now. 

"I can tell you, the 49ers, the Panthers (are) among the teams very interested in Deshaun Watson, as are the Jets," CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora said Sunday on the broadcast's Super Bowl pregame show. 

Watson has made it clear he wants out of Houston this offseason. However, the Texans reportedly still are telling teams they won't trade the star quarterback. Plus, they understandably want a king's ransom for the 25-year-old. 

The Texans reportedly would want at least two first-round draft picks, two second-round draft picks and two young starters on defense in a Watson trade.

If the 49ers feel that's too much, Kyle Shanahan reportedly likes another young QB who could soon become available. 

"Sources tell me 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan (is) very high on Sam Darnold," La Canfora also said. "If that's a match, follow me here, the 49ers would be trading Jimmy Garoppolo, and sources tell me Bill Belichick would love to have a Jimmy G reunion in New England."

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday morning that multiple teams have reached out about a possible trade for Darnold, and the Jets aren't turning the calls away while still deciding on the future of their QB. Former 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh now is the Jets' head coach, and the two sides could work out a deal to get Darnold to Santa Clara. 

Darnold has been far from great his first three years in the league. The former No. 3 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft has completed just 59.8 percent of his passes, resulting in 45 touchdowns and 39 interceptions. But he's six years younger than Garoppolo and far cheaper. His contract costs just $4.7 million next season, which would help the 49ers sign other players. 

RELATED: How NFL QB trade market is developing, could affect 49ers

Shanahan very well might feel Darnold can still be a franchise quarterback in the right system, especially with weapons like George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel to throw to. A Jimmy G reunion in New England isn't too easy, but never say never. 

A lot can happen in the next month-plus. These rumors aren't going away anytime soon. The stove is just starting to heat up.

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