With the 2022 NFL Draft just around the corner, most teams have their quarterback situations resolved, at least temporarily, as they enter the new season. And the few who are still actively seeking help under the center can aim for one of this year’s biggest leads. But where does that leave Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo, the two remaining great veterans perceived to be available?
While Mayfield’s separation from the Browns is inevitable after Cleveland’s polarizing blockbuster deal with Deshaun Watson, where CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora reported on Monday that the former No. 1 overall pick could be dealt with before the draft, neither he nor Garoppolo are in high spirits. demand. With that in mind, here’s an updated look at their respective markets:
Should both QB locks be traded?
Not necessarily. Although both Mayfield and Garoppolo are safe bets to play elsewhere in 2022, it is quite possible that one – or both – could be released. The former was on shaky terms with Cleveland, even before the team completed a record-breaking commitment to the challenged Watson. The Browns will not pay him the $ 18.9 million he needs in 2022 to sit unhappily on the bench, especially after already adding Jacoby Brissett as a backup / emergency starter. So if they can not find people, they can well cut him.
The potential Garoppolo results with the 49ers meanwhile are likely to fall in this order: 1.) traded, 2.) retained, 3.) cut. San Francisco can not hold him on his $ 26.9 million and start former first-rounder Trey Lance in 2022, and no matter what, Jimmy G’s shoulder surgery may force them to eat some of his deal to facilitate a move. But he feels more inclined than Mayfield to actually return to his current squad, even if it’s for a reduced salary and / or plays other violin for Lance’s takeover.
What is each QB worth?
Not very much right now. The QB market has largely been inflated out of season: Seattle got four picks and three players, including two first-time players, for Russell Wilson; Houston won five elections, including the first three, for Watson; and the Colts got essentially a couple of third-rounders to Carson Wentz. Still, it’s hard to imagine a team surrendering to more than a single choice in the middle of the round, for neither Mayfield nor Garoppolo.
Mayfield is young (26), with playoff experience, at a reasonable price for a loan and potential long-term starter, but why give up anything of significant value for the equivalent of a top-20 placeholder on an expiring contract? Garoppolo, meanwhile, has proven to be a little safer – an effective top-15 starter for playoff challengers – but is older (30), has likely reached his ceiling and is consistently struggling with injuries. They may have picked up some combinations of day two and day three picks – maybe a second and fifth, or something along those lines – right at the start of the offseason, but QB vacancies are filled.
At this point, the most likely scenario for both QBs to be dealt is their inclusion in a swap of draft picks. Think of the Browns ‘Amari Cooper deal, in which Cleveland absorbed the former Cowboys wide receivers’ contract in exchange for a fifth-round pick and swap at sixths. Dallas was given cap space and a minor sign of draft capital; Cleveland got the proven player.
Which teams might be interested?
Consider these as the only logical or potential suitors at the moment:
- Jaguars: This only applies to Garoppolo, who could potentially give Doug Pederson and the new staff a more experienced backup to Trevor Lawrence. Pederson knows the value of a No. 2 clutch – a role currently played by CJ Beathard.
- Jets: Mayfield does not fit here, and with Joe Flacco back as No. 2, Garoppolo may not do either. But what if Flacco, 37, gets hurt? Some top executives know Jimmy G well from San Francisco, and he can be a solid mentor to Zach Wilson.
- Lions: Jared Goff already gives them a mediocre veteran placeholder at QB, but Garoppolo is no doubt somewhat more reliable when he’s healthy, and Mayfield brings the moxie that coach Dan Campbell might appreciate. Still, they are probably more likely to lean on Goff and / or work out his successor.
- Panthers: They are one of the few teams that desperately need a new QB and completely failed to add the position so far. They are consensus favorites to make a signal call early, so Mayfield and Garoppolo would be last-minute relapses.
- Raiders: Another one only for Garoppolo, who has ties to new coach Josh McDaniels from their time with the Patriots. The Raiders are all on Derek Carr in 2022, but given the great ways they have built the team to win now, who says they would not be interested in securing the backup spot currently held by Nick Mullens?
- Seahawks: The 49ers will not jump at the chance to send Garoppolo to their division rivals, but Mayfield makes sense in Seattle for several reasons. After Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll could use a QB who knows how to lean on the running game, and adding Baker to compete with Drew Lock would not preclude them from also drafting another signal caller.
- Texas: Second-year Davis Mills is ready to get a full audition for the job, but they could explore competition. Garoppolo does not feel like the right fit for a team in transition, but Mayfield, who is from Texas, could be a low-risk, high-reward bet.