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Would Jimmy Garoppolo Save Washington Commanders?

Ron Rivera needs to find an answer at quarterback, and San Francisco should be willing to deal

Entering his third year as head coach in Washington, Ron Rivera still needs an answer at quarterback. After running through the likes of Alex Smith for six games, Dwayne Haskins for another six and Kyle Allen for four games in 2020, it didn't get any better in 2021. Rivera's second year with the team saw three different starters as well, with Ryan Fitzpatrick for one game, Taylor Heinicke for 15 and Garrett Gilbert for one.

Six quarterbacks in two seasons is a recipe for disaster. Amazing, in those years Rivera managed to go 14-19 with a division championship.

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It's unlikely the Commanders can find a Day 1 starter in the NFL Draft, as this is not the best draft for quarterbacks. But Rivera might be able to find one on the free-agent market or via trade, such as Jimmy Garoppolo.

San Francisco is expected to move on from Garoppolo and run with first-round pick Trey Lance for the foreseeable future. 

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Garoppolo isn't a Top 10 quarterback, we know that, so the asking price would be expected to be somewhat reasonable and affordable. And he would certainly be an upgrade to any of the aforementioned previous starters the past two seasons under Rivera.

That being said, it's extremely difficult to find quality starting quarterbacks in the NFL. For all the knocks against Garoppolo in the past few seasons, he has found measurable success. 

Garoppolo is 37-16 (including playoffs) as a starter with the 49ers and has a career passer rating of 98.9. That passer rating is slightly above average in the NFL. In 2021 his rating was 95.0, ranking him 12th in the league. By comparison, Heinicke, who started the most games for the Commanders last season, had a passer rating of 85.9, ranking him 24th.

Of course, we know Garoppolo's habit of making egregious errors at the most inopportune times. Although those mistakes didn't always cost his team, it does raise questions about his ability to lead a team to the promised land and consistently play at a high level.

He's played in a Super Bowl and an NFC title game and has a career 4-2 playoff record. And his experience alone should make him an attractive candidate for Rivera in Washington.