ESPN’s Louis Riddick threw out an idea recently that I thought might get more traction this off-season.
Jimmy Garoppolo in Seattle.
He doesn’t have the arm to really drive the ball downfield like Seattle prefers. Yet his third down passing is among the best in the NFL and he’s been the quarterback of a team that has reached a Super Bowl and a NFC Championship in two of the last three years.
Admittedly, he lost both of those games and benefitted tremendously from a productive and creative running game. Yet the Seahawks hope to create such a ground attack and would simply like the opportunity for their starting QB to blow a Super Bowl or conference championship at this point.
There’s also the angle of the team he plays for. He’d be doing a reverse-Sherman — going to a NFC West rival to try and prove a point. The 49ers traded a fortune to replace him and now appear ready to finally move on.
What better way to make a statement than playing them twice?
Part of me is intrigued by the pure s**thousery that comes with such a move. Although it really comes back to what we were discussing the other day.
The Seahawks are at the start of a rebuild. Adding someone like Garoppolo would simply give them an opportunity to be a little less bad than they otherwise will be. He’s unlikely to provide a long-term answer — just as the 49ers acknowledged with the Trey Lance trade.
You might end up copying San Francisco — using three first round picks to get someone else.
While increasingly people are talking themselves into the idea that Seattle isn’t rebuilding, let’s look at the facts here. They’re bedding in two rookie offensive tackles. They are trying to create a defensive system that works. They are looking for young players to create a pass rush (they have very little proven quality). They’re hoping a group of young, cheap cornerbacks will produce two good starters. They have just moved their two cornerstone experienced players in Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner.
You might be able to give Garoppolo some nice targets and hopefully a running game. I’d still argue it won’t be as impactful as a healthy George Kittle and Deebo Samuel. He also doesn’t get to bring Kyle Shanahan with him (or Nick Bosa, for that matter).
He’d only be added if he’s cut by the Niners. According to Dan Graziano’s league sources, that might happen. If it does, I’m sure they’d make a call. The price would have to be right though — and right now the Panthers ($25m) have more cap space than the Seahawks ($17m).
I’m curious why Seattle just re-worked Shelby Harris’ contract though to create more cap space this year. Considering they still have a chunk to play with, this wasn’t a big priority. Extending D.K. Metcalf isn’t likely to increase his 2022 salary by much (if anything).
It’s possible as time goes on they end up adding a handful of players for camp, none of which really move the needle or cost any serious money. It’s also possible, I suppose, that they’re trying to create a situation where they are financially more competitive just in case a certain opportunity emerges.
I still think they’re better off taking their lumps this year. Spending a lot of money on an average, often-injured QB to try and win games in 2022 (when the reality is you probably won’t be good enough anyway) would be short-sighted. The long-game must be played.
I’d almost rather sign him to a deal that makes him more of a bridge for 2023. He’s recovering from a serious shoulder surgery. Is it plausible to sign him now, put him on IR, with the idea of getting him healthy for 2023 to act as a bridge?
That’s probably fanciful but at least it wouldn’t impact you this year where the aim of the game should be development and draft position. You could do a lot worse than Jimmy G as a torch-passer for the future at quarterback. But he’d have to be playing the Alex Smith-to-Patrick Mahomes role. Nothing more.
I’m not sure what it would take financially this year to try and buy 12 months of patience. Especially when the Panthers might be prepared to let him start this year and re-enter the market in March. I suppose it depends on how he feels about his shoulder and readiness to play.
You can make a compelling argument, though, for that just being an unnecessary waste of money.
If, as Graziano’s sources predict, Mayfield and Garoppolo are cut, I would imagine it would be one each for Seattle and Carolina. The fact Mayfield would cost a minimal amount given his contract situation in Cleveland makes him more attractive, I would suggest. Although Garoppolo is more proven in terms of results and carries far less baggage.
Truth be told — neither is likely leading anyone to a Super Bowl in the future. And that’s why Seattle should stick not twist. Endure a year of Geno Smith and/or Drew Lock and prepare for the 2023 draft.
It might be painful but necessary for the long term health of the franchise.
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