What a week for the 49ers and Ian Rapoport.
First he reported that the 49ers will trade Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason barring a Super Bowl run. Then he tried to walk back that report by saying the 49ers have been transparent and he's just repeating what they've said publicly. Now, he's saying which three teams will be his top suitors.
"This isn't a report," Rapoport said recently on KNBR in San Francisco, "and I don't want to put words in Jimmy Garoppolo's mouth, but I'm sure there was some weirdness this year when they drafted his replacement, and I'm sure he wouldn't mind going some place where he's the guy again no questions asked. So I think a trade would be mutually beneficial. And at the end of this 49ers-Garoppolo relationship, it will be something that everyone leaves with good feelings. He will leave it knowing they sent him some place he likes, because they're not going to trade him some place he doesn't want to get traded to. And they will end it knowing he took them to a Super Bowl, played well when he played and gave way to the someone they believe is their future at quarterback.
"As far as landing spots -- Denver makes sense if they don't get Aaron Rodgers. Nick Caserio in Houston had Garoppolo when they were in New England together, so that would make some sense whenever they trade Deshaun Watson. The New Orleans Saints -- Sean Payton and Garoppolo are coalumni. They went to the same school. And I know Payton likes a smart quarterback who can get rid of the ball fast. There will be some other options, but those are the ones that jump out to me."
Here's my takeaways from Rapoport's non-report.
1. Does he really expect people to believe Garoppolo will leave this team with no hard feelings? In what world would that be realistic?
2. Why would the Broncos trade for the right to pay Jimmy Garoppolo $27 million next season or to extend his contract when they can trade for Aaron Rodgers or simply re-sign Teddy Bridgewater, who produces the virtually the same results as Garoppolo for a quarter of the price?
3. Why would the Texans trade for the right to pay Jimmy Garoppolo $27 million next season or to extend his contract when they can draft a cheaper, better quarterback with their top-five pick? And why would Garoppolo want to play for the awful Texans? How would that prevent hard feelings?
4. How can the Saints trade for the right to pay Jimmy Garoppolo $27 million next season or to extend his contract when they currently have less than negative 61 million in cap space for 2022? And if somehow they were to create enough room to afford Garoppolo, why would they spend it on him when they can re-sign Jameis Winston for $1 million?
5. Are we sure there's a trade market for a $27-million 30-year-old quarterback whose current team treats him like he's Trent Dilfer?
These are the quetions I would have asked Rapoport.