The NFL trade deadline came and went Tuesday without any truly significant deals going down.
Gil Brandt believes that shouldn’t have been the case. The veteran NFL analyst thinks one of the league’s starting quarterbacks should have changed teams.
In a column published to NFL.com Wednesday, Brandt listed seven hypothetical trades that should have been executed prior to the deadline. Included was the San Francisco 49ers shipping Jimmy Garoppolo to the quarterback-needy New Orleans Saints.
“We can trust Sean Payton to know how to get the most out of whatever arrangement he settles on at quarterback in the wake of Jameis Winston’s knee injury, whether he rolls with a combination of Trevor Siemian and Taysom Hill or cooks up another option,” Brandt wrote. “On a certain level, it makes sense that New Orleans did not rush to make a deadline deal. And adding Garoppolo’s contract likely would have been difficult to navigate for the cap-strapped team.
“But given that this regret-tinged reflection on what could have been is already an exercise in alternate realities, let’s set all that aside. Because the idea of Payton making Garoppolo his latest reclamation project is just too tantalizing not to chew over. Imagine Garoppolo helping to shepherd New Orleans’ otherwise competitive roster to the playoffs, refurbishing his reputation and maybe even setting himself up as a potential long-term option for Payton. San Francisco, meanwhile, might have benefited from committing the rest of the season to Trey Lance’s development while also extracting extra picks rather than delaying the inevitable end to the Jimmy G era.”
Garoppolo very well could be one of the more prominent trade candidates over the offseason or ahead of the 2022 deadline. Next season is the final campaign on Jimmy G’s current contract, and in addition to not wanting to lose him for nothing, the Niners by that point might be ready to hand the keys over to Lance.