The quarterback carousel is sure to spin this offseason more than it has in recent years. That’s because players like Tony Romo, Jay Cutler and Jimmy Garoppolo are likely to be made available, presenting quarterback-needy teams with several different options at the most important position in sports.
Garoppolo is a particularly interesting trade target, considering he’s the youngest one available (25) and will only make $1.1 million in 2017. The only problem is it’ll likely cost at least a first- or second-round pick to acquire him. For a handful of teams, he’s worth the price – including one franchise in the same division as the Patriots.
The Bills have Tyrod Taylor at quarterback, but only if they want him. They may opt to release him rather than picking up his lucrative option, making him a free agent, and putting them back on the lookout for a franchise quarterback.
If that were to happen, Bills GM Doug Whaley should get Bill Belichick on the phone and offer the 10th pick for Garoppolo. Buffalo already has a solid core of players in LeSean McCoy, Richie Incognito, Sammy Watkins and multiple playmakers on the defensive side of the ball, but they don’t have a quarterback. Garoppolo changes that for years and years to come.
Kyle Shanahan went to the 49ers with a clean slate. A new GM, plenty of cap space and the No. 2 pick in the draft. What he doesn’t have is a quarterback, which he desperately needs to run his West Coast offense. Garoppolo is perfect for that.
He has the mobility and accuracy to operate in Shanahan’s scheme and would get the new head coach’s tenure off on the right foot in San Francisco. Garoppolo doesn’t warrant the second overall pick in the draft, but the No. 34 pick and maybe a third-rounder might just be enough for Belichick.
The Texans just spent $72 million ($37 million guaranteed) on Brock Osweiler last offseason, but he’s clearly not the answer at quarterback. Garoppolo just might be – and he can fit under the cap with Osweiler, too.
Garoppolo’s cap hit in 2017 will only be $1.1 million, which pales in comparison to Osweiler’s $16 million. Paying both of them $17.1 million is doable, though – especially when considering the Texans have been linked to Tony Romo, who’s a much more expensive option.
Garoppolo is an Illinois kid. In addition to being born in the state, he played his college ball at Eastern Illinois. That would make a trade to the Bears a bit of a homecoming, which only adds to the allure for Chicago.
Jay Cutler and his $16 million cap hit are as good as gone, opening up a spot for Garoppolo at quarterback. Some would argue that Garoppolo is already a better quarterback than Cutler, who’s not only injury-prone, but also susceptible to regular turnovers.