How's this for a daring move this offseason for the New York Jets?
Let's say the Jets decide to move on from Sam Darnold this offseason and for some reason, don't fall in love with any of the quarterbacks from this year's draft class (after Trevor Lawrence of course). Would trading for Jimmy Garoppolo be New York's next best option?
Before you immediately nix this idea, check out this excerpt from a piece published on ESPN this week, making bold offseason predictions for each NFL franchise. Part of ESPN's Football Outsiders, here's Bryan Knowles on Garoppolo:
Jimmy Garoppolo has shown that he can operate out of new offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur's offense. In his one fully healthy season in San Francisco, he finished 11th in DVOA and DYAR and led the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance; the last Jets quarterback to top Garoppolo's 2019 numbers was Chad Pennington in 2006. Rumors have attached the 49ers to every free agent and draftable quarterback around, and while Garoppolo does have a no-trade clause, he may be willing to waive it to work with some of his old coaches again, especially if the alternative is being cut.
Adding Garoppolo would give Robert Saleh's team an experienced veteran who knows how to run the new offensive system, allowing for a smoother transition. In addition, Garoppolo's contract is such that teams can get out at any time with very little dead money, so it wouldn't stop the Jets from adding a rookie to the team as well. What Garoppolo would do is give the Jets flexibility; they could still draft a quarterback with the second pick or use it on tackle Penei Sewell and try to grab a second-tier passer later in the draft.
And if Garoppolo looks like he did in 2019, then the Jets have a top-third starting quarterback, and one who's still under 30. Garoppolo isn't going to knock anyone's socks off with big-time highlight-reel plays. But he could bring the level of competence and stability the Jets have been searching for over the past decade plus.
When you put it that way, there are certainly worse quarterbacks that could be under center in green and white next season and beyond. I'm not entirely convinced, however, that this would ever come to fruition this offseason.
As mentioned before, would the Jets really move on from Darnold and pass on a prospect like Zach Wilson to go after Garoppolo? Yes, he has the AFC East experience from years on the Patriots. Yes, he's won games before and took the 49ers to a Super Bowl not long ago. But would this be the right move for a club that's rebuilding?
Trading for Garoppolo would certainly require fewer picks than going after a star like Deshaun Watson. Then again, Garoppolo isn't a sure thing. He's battled his fair share of injuries, playing in just six games a year ago.
Besides, would San francisco even want to trade him this offseason? Perhaps if they get their hands on someone like Watson, they'd be more likely to pull the trigger, but that appears unlikely at this point.
Knowles was tasked with creating a daring move and he succeeded. With the other options on the board as well, it's hard to imagine this move would go over quite well with Jets fans.
MORE ON GAROPPOLO:
- Jets Acquire 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo in This Deshaun Watson Three-Team Trade Proposal
- Blockbuster Trade Proposal: Jets To Get Russell Wilson In Four-Team Deal Involving Deshaun Watson, Sam Darnold
- Sam Darnold Trade Proposal: Jets, 49ers Swap First Round Picks