The San Francisco 49ers Offseason
2022 Dream Draft Pick: Roger McCreary
It's tough for the 49ers in this draft to have a dream draft pick with their first pick in the draft being the 61st but if their is a player of need and value that this team hopes will fall to them it would be Roger McCreary out of Auburn. McCreary is the cutoff on my big board for starter level cornerbacks in the NFL draft and the 49ers downfall, outside of quarterback play, was due to poor pass defense and McCreary certainly could make an early impact for this team as a starter on the outside.
The To-Do List
Trade Jimmy Garopollo: 6 teams that could use him
The San Francisco 49ers have made it official that they want to trade their quarterback in Jimmy Garopollo and reign in the Trey Lance era in the Bay Area which now puts at least one quarterback into the market once the new league year starts and luckily for the 49ers they'll have plenty of suitors if they're the only game in town. The 2022 NFL draft class is a bad class of quarterbacks and with plenty of teams realizing this to be the case I can imagine that the veteran quarterback market in the NFL is going to heat up quickly. There are at least six NFL teams that I would say are looking for a quarterback that can put their team over and while Jimmy Garopollo in my opinion can't do it by himself, his experience in the playoffs and his overall production as a quarterback are enough for teams to feel confident in him as a quarterback.
- Cleveland Browns: The Cleveland Browns in my opinion are probably the most likely to inquire or even trade for him as the Baker Mayfield era in Cleveland is inching closer and closer to coming to an end. Baker Mayfield's brashness with the media, his propensity to rock the boat in the locker room, his constant injuries, and his inconsistent play have all worn out the Browns upper management and his unlikelihood of getting an extension opens the door for a new leader in the Cleveland facility. Jimmy Garopollo is a steady hand at the quarterback position that won't try and do too much and if the you surround him with pieces, like what the Browns did with Baker Mayfield, he can win games and getting onto a Cleveland team with relentless rushing attack and menacing defense could be as seem less a transition as you'll find. I think if Cleveland gave up Greedy Williams for Jimmy Garopollo the Niners would take it as Williams coming into a contract season and is on the up in up in the NFL and the Niners need cornerback help in the worst way.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: The Pittsburgh Steelers had their future HOF quarterback Ben Roelthisberger retire this season and with very bad quarterback class in 2022 I can certainly see the Steelers going after Jimmy Garopollo in the offseason. They have a very good rushing attack, good receivers, and one of the best defenses in the NFL and all they need is a quarterback that can game manage and keep mistakes to minimum. I think that if the Steelers offered up a 2nd round pick for Garopollo or 3rd and an additional pick I think the Niners could jump on it considering that the Steelers don't have the cornerback help that the 49ers need.
- Indianapolis Colts: Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard has done his best to stay away from drafting a quarterback in the first round and with no first round pick 2022 after trading for Carson Wentz Chris Ballard may look at Jimmy Garopollo as the answer to the Colts troubles at the position. Garopollo would have a relentless run game with an MVP favorite in Jonathan Taylor, one of the best defenses in the NFL, and a quality receiving corps is on the rise and his transition would be relatively smooth as they have a similar structure to what the 49ers have. They would have to trade Carson Wentz to get Garopollo but Ballard's overall disgust in Wentz after missing the playoffs in 2021 could entice him to set up a blockbuster 3-team trade to get Garopollo on the roster. It could cost them Rock Ya-Sin to get Garopollo on the roster but Rock Ya-Sin is in the final year of his contract and with Ballard in win now mode, he'll probably find his replacement in the draft.
- Washington Commanders: The Washington Commanders need a quarterback that can keep games alive and while the Taylor Heinicke era has been fun, he clearly isn't the answer in Washington. Washington has the pieces at the wide receiver position with Terry McLaurin and if they resign Brandon Scherff, they'll have a good offensive line as well and Jimmy Garopollo has the experience they need at the quarterback position to make them a competitive team in the NFC once again. The Commanders don't have a cornerback that the 49ers would want but with some decently high draft picks I could certainly see the Commanders giving up a 2nd round pick for Jimmy Garopollo if they don't like their options at quarterback after the combine and workouts.
- Miami Dolphins: The Miami Dolphins are in the position right now where they have to make a decision on Tua Tagovailoa and with the hiring of former 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniels, you have to wonder if McDaniels will look at his former teams quarterback as the answer in South Beach. The Dolphins have weapons similar to the 49ers with Jaylen Waddle being a dual threat as well as very good defensive unit, although we'll see how good they are without Brian Flores at the helm, and Jimmy Garopollo with his former offensive coordinator could give this team the push it needs to get into the playoffs. I doubt they would give up one of their top end corners for Jimmy despite their massive contracts but maybe Day 2 pick and some change could do the trick.
- Carolina Panthers: The Carolina Panthers are a dark horse in the Jimmy Garopollo trade market because David Tepper might be one of the more impatient owners in football after firing Joe Brady early in the season and basically turning head Matt Rhule's coaching seat on fire for 2022 and making a trade for Jimmy Garopollo who, despite his issues as a quarterback, has been in the NFC Championship game and Super Bowl. The Panthers have D.J. Moore and Christian McCaffrey on the offense which are certainly excellent weapons, when healthy, they have the sixth overall pick in the draft, right in the line of site of one of the top offensive lineman on the board. I think that if they gave up a 3rd round and 4th round pick for considering how early both are in the draft for their respective rounds, they could come away Garopollo easily.
Fix the secondary
The San Francisco 49er secondary in 2022 was swiss cheese on occasion and addressing it this offseason should be the top priority but without a first round pick in the NFL draft the 49ers the 49ers are going to have to go in an alternative direction. The 49ers luckily are in the market to move their quarterback Jimmy Garopollo out of town which frees up over $25,000,000 in cap space but with Nick Bosa and Deebo Samuel coming into contract years very soon and the high price tags they will command, the 49ers have to careful about how much they are willing to spend. So what should San Francisco do? In my opinion their best option is to try and go after a veteran cornerback cornerback on a one year deal and their isn't a better veteran cornerback available than Stephon Gilmore whose play in 8 games for the Panthers earned him pro bowl and solidified him as one of the best cornerbacks in pro football. He wouldn't come cheap unless he feels he can win a Super Bowl with the team and considering that the 49ers have come with a field goal of reaching it this year, Gilmore may take discount if it gets him closer to achieving his football immortality. Gilmore is getting up in age at 31 but his play hasn't diminished at all with his only real obstacle being his injury concerns as most 31 yr old cornerbacks have. He would give the San Francisco 49ers a tremendous presence on the outside and with the 49ers relentless pass rush and exceptional linebacker play, he likely wouldn't have to do too much to make an impact for this team. I know it's cliché to say that team is just a player away from the Super Bowl but San Francisco very well might be when it comes to improving the secondary and getting Gilmore on the roster would make them nearly even with the rival Los Angeles Rams.
Resign Deebo Samuel and Nick Bosa Now
Not to be captain obvious here when it comes to this offseason priority but the 49ers have to sign their two best players in Deebo Samuel and Nick Bosa if they want to go anywhere in the extremely competitive NFC West. Deebo Samuel might be the best offensive weapon in the NFL with his only rival being the Los Angeles Rams Cooper Kupp but even Kupp can't make the plays Deebo can. Deebo Samuel in the 49ers offense was both wide receiver and running back and he did both at an elite level in 2021 and was the engine that drove the 49ers offense all the way to the NFC Championship game. He did so well at the both positions that he gave himself a new position called "Wide Back" and I'll be honest, I think that he actually did create a new position an should be payed accordingly as the highest payed offensive weapon in the NFL. Nick Bosa on the other hand, has been everything the 49ers hoped he'd be as the a former #2 overall pick and has even gone beyond those expectations with 15.5 sacks in 2021 and was the anchor of one of the best front 7's in pro football. Elite pass rushers are hard to come by in the NFL and with ability to make an impact in both the pass and run game for the 49ers he himself is a highly crucial part of the San Francisco 49ers team. I know that it's obvious to sign these guys but the 49ers need lock them up early before other pass rushers and receivers start getting resigned to big contracts as it's only going to inflate their values and ruin the 49ers chances of going after help in the secondary or any other unit. Deebo is probably going to cost around $22,000,000 a year if he's signed yet as it save the 49ers around $3,000,000+ and Nick Bosa, despite having the 5th year option on his deal, could go for around $27,000,0000 per year if they don't lock him up now. Yes it's risky given that both are young players and each has dealt with injuries in their careers but considering these two players are the foundations of both units, it would behoove John Lynch and company to ensure that they don't test free agency and stay with the team at their price.