The CBS Sports NFL Insider says Kyle Shanahan also likes Sam Darnold as an option.
The San Francisco 49ers will be among the most talented teams in the NFL going into next season. The team will have high-end talents like Nick Bosa, George Kittle, Fred Warner, Deebo Samuel and hopefully Trent Williams on the roster.
One position that has been under the microscope for the Niners since the season ended is quarterback. Jimmy Garoppolo is under contract for next season, but the team has been linked to several QBs going into the offseason.
The 49ers didn’t reportedly make an offer for Matthew Stafford, who was traded to the Los Angeles Rams for Jared Goff and draft picks. Superstar Deshaun Watson doesn’t want anything to do with the Houston Texans and has officially requested a trade. The Philadelphia Eagles are looking to move Carson Wentz, and there are also four QBs projected to go in the top 15 of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports touched on the unprecedented quarterback market during Sunday’s Super Bowl pre-game show and mentioned San Francisco as one of the teams who are looking at acquiring Watson.
“I can tell you, the 49ers, the Panthers [are] among the teams very interested in Deshaun Watson, as are the Jets.”
Newly hired Texans’ GM Nick Caserio is adamant that the team will not trade the 25-year-old QB this offseason. Watson has five years remaining on his contract and has a no-trade clause.
Carolina holds the No. 8 pick in the draft and has veteran Teddy Bridgewater on the roster. The Jets could put together one of the best packages out of any team with four first-round picks and 19 total selections over the next two years.
If New York does land Watson, it would have to move on from 2018 third-overall pick Sam Darnold. La Canfora adds that Niners’ head coach Kyle Shanahan likes Darnold as well.
“Sources tell me 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan (is) very high on Sam Darnold. If that’s a match, follow me here, the 49ers would be trading Jimmy Garoppolo, and sources tell me Bill Belichick would love to have a Jimmy G reunion in New England.”
it’s going to be interesting come March and Draft Day pic.twitter.com/UTxCakTCgh
— Forty Niners Fan (@eolivares1976) February 7, 2021
Darnold is 13-25 in his career as a starter with a terrible Jets team. He completed just 59.6% of his passes for 2,208 yards, nine touchdowns and 11 picks in 12 games last season. The 23-year-old has a cap hit of $9.7 million for next season, per Spotrac.
San Francisco holds the No. 12 selection in the draft and could use it in a trade to try and get a new QB or pick one of the available prospects.
Shanahan and general manager John Lynch haven’t publicly stated that they are ready to move on from Jimmy G, so this is all pure speculation at this point. Most teams in the league would be interested in Watson since young quarterbacks of his caliber are rarely available.
The 49ers will be in a good position either way. Garoppolo has proven that he can lead a team to the Super Bowl when healthy, but that remains his Achilles heel. Jimmy G has missed 23 starts over the past three seasons.
It should be an interesting few months leading up to the draft.