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NFL - US Sports: Garoppolo on the move?

The San Francisco 49ers signalled the end of the Jimmy Garoppolo era many months ago, but it's taken until now for his trade market to heat up.

Rumours of a possible move to Tampa Bay or Houston have been shot down by those who ought to be in the know, but now the Seattle Seahawks are reportedly showing an interest in the former Super Bowl starter.

A switch to a division rival might be awkward to accommodate, but as the season approaches and Garoppolo nears full fitness again, surely he's too good to waste the 2022 season on the sidelines?

Injuries and inconsistency behind Niners' decision

After five years in San Francisco, Garoppolo is no longer the Niners' number one choice under center, with the team deciding to take their chances with second-year quarterback Trey Lance, +4000 to be Offensive Player of the Year in 2022.

When his body allowed him to, Jimmy G did a solid job for the 49ers - taking them to the Super Bowl in 2019 and to the NFC Championship game last year.

However, injuries blighted his time in Santa Clara, limiting him to just three starts in 2018 and six in 2020, but they weren't the only reason for this impending parting of the ways.

Garoppolo has had a tendency to hold onto the ball for too long and he has also been unable to complete enough deep throws, while some believe his short and medium-range passing should be better in Kyle Shanahan's quarterback-friendly system.

Seahawks studying viability of trade

According to information from ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the Seahawks are studying the possibility of acquiring Garoppolo through a trade - although what such a trade would look like to both teams is open to question.

If the Seahawks believe he fits into Pete Carroll's offensive scheme, how much draft capital will they be willing to give up to a division rival?

And conversely, will the Niners - +175 to win the NFC West - want a quarterback who has a 31-14 record as their starter playing against them twice a season?

The +1200 Seahawks were left with a huge hole to fill after trading Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos for a haul that included two first-round picks - so they will arguably have a shot at getting the best draft-eligible QB next April.

Whether Carroll can endure what comes of a season with Broncos reject Drew Lock in the huddle remains open to question and therein lies the conundrum - how desperate are they for a serviceable veteran like Jimmy G?

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Rivals falling by the wayside

The trade market for Garoppolo hasn't peaked yet and Seattle may be forced to wait for other teams to show their hand or pull out altogether. Rumours of interest from Tampa Bay, who have to think Tom Brady can't go on forever, were denied by Garoppolo's agent last week and similar links to the Houston Texans have been rubbished by a team insider in the last few days.

The 49ers didn't receive much interest in the 30-year-old in the spring because he underwent shoulder surgery without their authorization, which effectively put all talks on hold and lowered his market value. The Carolina Panthers drafted a young QB and then cut a deal with the Cleveland Browns for Baker Mayfield, so they are completely out of the reckoning.

It might take a preseason or early season injury to an incumbent starter for things to really heat up - or for a veteran QB at a Super Bowl contender to struggle so badly in the early weeks that they are forced into a trade.

Niners refusing to cut him

The other way out of San Francisco for him is for the Niners to cut him, which would save them money and potential controversy in the short term, but they remain steadfast in their assertion that this won't happen.

That indicates they believe he can still play a bit with his record of 897 completions for 11,162 passing yards, 66 touchdowns and 38 interceptions backing that up.

How he would fare in a different system is the big question that no one can answer until Garoppolo gets to grips with a new playbook.

And that may be why some teams are taking chances on as-yet-unproven talent instead of getting serious in talks with San Francisco.

Only time will tell if they are right to be wary of committing to a quarterback, who is coming off shoulder surgery, and that a 49ers team with respected decision-makers are giving up on.

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