49ers Rumors: Would Take 'Deshaun Watson Effect' to Trade Jimmy Garoppolo

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2021

FILE - In this Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020 file photo, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo passes against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL football game in Seattle. Jimmy Garoppolo isn't expected to take another snap this season for the San Francisco 49ers as a pair of high ankle sprains derailed most of his campaign.(AP Photo/Scott Eklund, File)
Scott Eklund/Associated Press

Barring the Houston Texans having a change of heart and trading Deshaun Watson, it appears Jimmy Garoppolo will be back with the San Francisco 49ers next season.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler updated the situation Sunday on SportsCenter:

"I'm told San Fran is looking at potential upgrades, but they still like Jimmy G. He's 24-9 as a starter, including the playoffs, with the Niners. They believe they can win with him, but it would take a big swing, like a Deshaun Watson effect here, to make that change. And I'm told that the 49ers are one of the teams that Watson's at least intrigued by. A source said, 'Which quarterback wouldn't want to be in that offense on that team with all those weapons and Kyle Shanahan?' So always a possibility, but the Texans have made clear they're not willing to deal Watson right now. Garoppolo's still a viable option for San Fran."

Garoppolo threw for 1,096 yards and seven touchdowns against five interceptions in 2020, missing 10 games because of injury. He's missed significant time in two of the last three seasons since taking over as the 49ers' starting quarterback.

The 49ers have been successful when Garoppolo has been in the lineup, but he's been largely unspectacular. Garoppolo seems to be the type of quarterback who tops out as a league-average starter, someone who won't lose you many games but can't be counted on to lead comeback efforts. The 49ers' run to Super Bowl LIV was largely in spite of Garoppolo, and the Chiefs' comeback effort in the game came in part because of the 49ers quarterback's inability to hit big throws.

If the Texans continue their steadfast refusal to trade Watson, it's likely the 49ers will bring in a veteran to compete with Garoppolo rather than move on. Jameis Winston and Mitchell Trubisky are among the players the 49ers could target on a short-term deal to battle Garoppolo in training camp.