If the Jacksonville Jaguars actually want to trade Gardner Minshew II before April 29, things became a bit more complicated on Friday.
So far, there haven't been many public indications the Jaguars want to trade Minshew. But in the event the Jaguars did want to deal Minshew, few teams made as much sense as the San Francisco 49ers -- and few teams were as rumored to be connected to a potential deal for the former Washington State quarterback.
That went out the window on Friday, though, as 49ers' fans went from envisioning how Minshew could potentially serve as an upgrade over Jimmy Garoppolo to photoshopping Trey Lance and Justin Fields into gold and scarlet red 49ers jerseys.
The 49ers made a blockbuster trade with the Miami Dolphins on Friday, moving up from No. 12 overall all the way to No. 3 overall. Miami sent No. 3 pick to San Francisco in return for the No. 12 pick this year, a first- and third-round pick in 2022, and a first-round pick in 2023.
While we are going to hear endless comments over the next five weeks on why this trade doesn't mean Garoppolo's time is up, a team doesn't trade three first-round picks to move up for any player but a quarterback. And by doing this, the 49ers are saying loudly that they are comfortable with any of their top-three quarterbacks on the board.
The 49ers wouldn't do this trade if it didn't mean they had their eyes on Lance, Fields, BYU's Zach Wilson in the unlikely scenario he slips to No. 3, or even Alabama's Mac Jones. The 49ers wouldn't have pulled the trigger on this monumental move if they weren't prepared to put the franchise in the hands of a rookie passer.
All of this means the Jaguars have lost one of the best potential landing spots for Minshew if they actually wanted to deal him. To this point, the Jaguars have held onto the third-year signal-caller who has started 20 games since the Jaguars drafted him in the sixth round in 2019, but that hasn't made trade rumors go away.
“At this point, no," Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer said last week when asked if the team was fielding offers for Minshew.
"At this point, I know Gardner [Minshew II] a little bit. He came in yesterday; we had a good visit. That’s the second time I spent time with him. This is all kind of new to me. I’m used to spending about five, six hours a day with our quarterback. January, February, that’s the days you get your quarterback ready to go. You can’t do that in the NFL."
Minshew's time as the Jaguars' starting quarterback is over. They will be drafting Clemson's Trevor Lawrence in 34 days, and Minshew's best-case scenario in Jacksonville would be to be Lawrence's No. 2. As a result, it is understandable why some may wonder if the Jaguars could attempt to flip their former starter for a worthwhile draft pick.
But the number of teams that are in the market for a quarterback like Minshew has dwindled considerably. The most likely teams to make a move for him have always been teams with starting quarterbacks who need competition in 2021, like the 49ers. But now, the 49ers have made clear they are looking elsewhere for their quarterback answer.
"There’s a lot of anticipation about the first pick. I understand there’s a lot of conversation out there, but there’s been no decisions made. Gardner’s done some very good things here in Jacksonville and he’s a competitive maniac, which I really appreciate that about him," Meyer said. "So, there’s been no decisions made. Yesterday was the first lengthy meeting we had and we’re going to continue that here for the next few weeks.”
Perhaps the Jaguars have never had any intentions to trade Minshew and are committed to him being on the roster in 2021, even though the signing of C.J. Beathard raised a few questions.
But in the event the Jaguars want to gain draft capital for a player who won't start next year, then they will likely need to expand their horizons after one of the top hypothetical trade partners went in the complete opposite direction Friday.