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How Jimmy G Would and Wouldn't Fit the Bears

There's more to look at in a possible Bears trade for Jimmy Garoppolo than the fact he is from this area

Imagine if you will, the plane door opening and coming out of the gate at O'Hare International to piped in music of Sweet Home Chicago, none other than Jimmy Garoppolo.

The Rolling Meadows, Ill. native and Eastern Illinois graduate is reported to be on the trade market.

In fact, Adam Schefter of ESPN mentioned the Colts and Patriots among those looking at Garoppolo.

Considering he just took the 49ers to the Super Bowl last year and has performed at a solid level, this hardly would have seemed possible after last season.

In the NFL world of today, movement triggers movement. 

It has been speculated by some analysts as many as 15 to 18 quarterbacks could move by next year. Those who have said this need to go check their temperatures, but seeing a dozen through trade and free agency wouldn't be a shock.

The 49ers must be really confident they can come up with a more productive quarterback if they're willing to deal away Garoppolo.

According to Grant Cohn of, the 49ers might have the best shot at acquiring Matthew Stafford from the Lions and NFL Network's Ian Rappoport reported a deal for Stafford come come off with a week.

So if the 49ers are making Garoppolo available there might not be long to wait.

If Garoppolo is available then he should be one of the quarterbacks at the top of the list for the Bears, as well.

The Reasons

The Talent

Garoppolo makes plenty of throws under pressure and from awkward positions, and while he doesn't have the strongest arm in the league it would still rate above average. He has been an efficient, effective passer whose QB rating has never dipped into the 80s and for his 49ers career is at a healthy 98.1. Even better, his yards per pass attempt as a starter in the NFL is an extremely healthy 8.3. The Patriots did the right thing with Garoppolo as he was able to sit at first and didn't start a game until his third year, then became a full-time starter with the 49ers.


Cap Costs

According to figures supplied to by ESPN's Adam Schefter, the 49ers did a splendid job with the contract Garoppolo has. It's easily moved at this point. Of his $26.4 million cap figure for 2021, only $24.1 million is unguaranteed salary. This means if the Bears obtained him they could easily restructure an extension to make it fit for the 2021 pandemic-tainted salary cap. The deal has two years remaining and the final year is just like in 2021. It couldn't be sweeter for a team acquiring Garoppolo unless the 49ers offered to pick up his salary for the year.

Trade Compensation

Offering the 20th pick in the draft likely won't do it for the Bears as speculation has the New England Patriots interested in bringing Garoppolo back and they can offer the 15th pick. So figure it's going to take a first and a third or first and a second. New England always has picks stashed and if the Bears are trying to outbid Bill Belichick and Co., good luck to them.

The Fit

Before 2020 it wouldn't have seemed an ideal match because Garoppolo's success in San Francisco came in an offense heavily run-oriented favoring play-action passes. Meanwhile Matt Nagy's Kansas City offense was almost the exact opposite. However, last season the Bears turned to the bootleg style with outside zone running plays and it looked more like the offense Kyle Shanahan is running. So Garoppolo would be a fit in their new style of play.

The Dangers

A Lynching

Ryan Pace trying to deal again with 49ers general manager John Lynch only stokes the flames of the 2017 draft-day trade so the Bears could select Mitchell Trubisky. Lynch didn't just pick Pace's pocket, he also asked for and got permission to take a withdrawl from a savings account. It was a complete steal. So Pace could expect Lynch will try to pilfer as much from him as possible.

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The Draft Picks

The Bears haven't had a first-round draft pick since 2018. Pace constantly preaches about how important the draft is, yet he constantly is trading away picks to move up or down in the draft instead of acquiring young talent. The Bears need more young talent, especially on defense where they are aging rapidly. Giving up a first-round pick at No. 20 is one thing, but if they also have to dish out a second- or third-round pick as well then they're going to be cutting off their ability to restock other areas looking pretty bare like wide receiver, safety or slot cornerback.

The Injuries

Jimmy Garoppolo would come to Chicago with an injury history like another Bears quarterback named Jim: McMahon.

Garoppolo could have played 48 regular-season games in his last three full seasons since coming over in a mid-season 2017 trade from the Patriots to the 49ers, and he's played in 25. While with the Patriots, he could have gained some valuable experience with Tom Brady injured but he suffered an AC joint sprain. Then with the 49ers he suffered a torn ACL trying to scramble, and had a high ankle sprain this past season which led to only six starts. He actually had two ankle injuries but it seemed a lot of time to miss due to ankle injuries.


Ultimately, Garoppolo went along for the ride when the 49ers made it to the Super Bowl. He threw for only 427 yards total for three postseason games on 37 of 58 with three interceptions and two touchdowns. It's the only test he's had with postseason pressure and he hasn't really established himself as a clutch late-game passer with six victories on final drives in his four 49ers seasons. The other drawback is his lack of mobility. He has run for only 131 yards in four 49ers seasons. It's just as well because it was a scramble he made which resulted in his ACL tear. Cohn has mentioned in the past how Garoppolo still has a tendency to make the extremely silly decision resulting in a turnover. The Bears have had plenty of experience with that themselves over the last four seasons.

Bottom Line

Garoppolo would be an overall improvement over Mitchell Trubisky and a better option than most quarterbacks available in the trade market but he has enough drawbacks to his game to make it a deal the Bears should only make if they're giving up lesser draft picks, second round or later.

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