Last week I wrote the 49ers need to trade Jimmy Garoppolo before the start of team activities. While this would make sense from the standpoint of anointing the quarterback they take with the third selection in the draft as the new leader for the locker room going forward, it leads to a question of how to fill out the position.
Since 2018, the 49ers have kept three quarterbacks on the active roster and moving on from Garoppolo would leave the team with only Josh Rosen and Josh Johnson as the veterans in addition to the rookie.
Let’s take a look at a couple of options that would provide the 49ers with another experienced quarterback.
Gardner Minshew - The 49ers have been rumored to have interest in trading for Minshew this offseason. That makes sense when you consider that the San Francisco coaching staff has history with Minshew, coaching him during the 2019 Senior Bowl
Minshew has shown to be a decent option despite playing with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In 23 career games, Minshew has completed nearly 63 percent of his passes with 37 touchdowns to only 11 interceptions. Despite the impressive passing totals, the bigger question is his ability to hold onto the football. Minshew has fumbled the ball 18 times, losing four.
Jacksonville is set to take a rookie quarterback of their own, so why not keep Minshew for themselves? With Urban Meyer taking over, Jacksonville is looking for quarterbacks that have the more movement skills and Minshew no longer fits the offensive scheme.
If the 49ers could get Minshew from Jacksonville for a mid-round selection, he would be better than any other quarterback option available and his salary is low. Having Minshew compete with the rookie during training camp would create the first true quarterback competition in San Francisco in over a decade and could bring out the best for the team moving forward.
Teddy Bridgewater – The 49ers have also been linked to Bridgewater this offseason, and with the Panthers making a trade to bring in Sam Darnold it is likely that they will look to move on from the former first-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings.
Unlike Minshew, Bridgewater will take more draft capital and come with a higher salary. It will likely take a second-round pick in 2022 to bring in Bridgewater, and with the 49ers already not having their first-round pick in the draft this may not seem to make sense.
Here’s how it does: To be in the position to make the trade for Bridgewater, the 49ers will have first made a trade of Jimmy Garoppolo. If the 49ers can get a package similar to what the Jets just received for Sam Darnold, a sixth in 2021, along with a second and fourth in 2022, the 49ers could get a veteran along with reducing the salary cap hit that has played at a high level in the NFL.
When Drew Brees was lost for five games in 2019, Bridgewater was able to step in and lead New Orleans to victory in all five starts. Bridgewater has proven that he can win games when he has a good team around him. And unless your quarterback is Tom Brady, that is all you can hope for.