What the Sam Darnold Trade Means for the 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo

Finally, some clarity.
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Finally, some clarity.

The New York Jets, who pick right before the 49ers in the upcoming NFL Draft, just traded Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Which means now, the 49ers have a better idea of which player they can get with the No. 3 pick, and what they can get in a trade for Jimmy Garoppolo.

The 49ers' Draft Target

The Jets currently have zero quarterbacks on their roster you've heard of. Darnold was their place-holder, the 23-year-old they drafted with the third pick in the 2018 draft who did not live up to expectations.

Until now, it was unclear what the Jets intended to do with Darnold -- keep him and give him a better supporting cast, or replace him.

Now, it's clear. They're replacing him with a quarterback they will take with the No. 2 pick -- probably Zach Wilson. So the 49ers can stop fantasizing about getting him, and start looking at the leftovers -- Mac Jones, Justin Fields, Trey Lance and Kyle Pitts.

Garoppolo's Trade Value

The Panthers traded a sixth-round pick this year, plus a second-rounder and a fourth-rounder in 2022 for Darnold. Which gives us a pretty good idea of what the 49ers could get in a trade for Garoppolo.

The 49ers reportedly want a first-round pick for him, but that seems like wishful thinking. The Jets got just a future second-rounder and change for Darnold. The 49ers would be lucky to get a better return for Garoppolo, who's older and much more expensive than Darnold.

If the 49ers could get a future second-rounder for Garoppolo, they should take it before his value drops more.