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Rodgers staying with Packers is good, bad news for 49ers

NBC Sports
Aaron Rodgers, Jimmy Garoppolo

If Aaron Rodgers wanted to continue to play football and compete for a championship, there was only one thing that could have taken place.

It happened on Tuesday.

Rodgers remains with the Green Bay Packers. He is going nowhere after reportedly agreeing to a record-breaking four-year, $200 million contract. Any team that had dreams of adding one of the all-time greats can now turn the page and devote their attention to the other available quarterbacks.

It is bad news for the 49ers because the Packers with Rodgers will always be a hurdle for teams to maneuver past in the NFC.

But the good news for the 49ers is that Jimmy Garoppolo — surgically repaired shoulder and all — may very well be the best option for any team in need of an upgrade at quarterback this offseason.

Tom Brady announced he is stepping away from the sport. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers say even if he wants to play, they are not trading his rights.

Russell Wilson might not leave Seattle.

And, now, Rodgers is officially off the market with a new deal that creates cap space and totals $200 million over four years, according to the NFL Network.

Pittsburgh, Washington, New Orleans, Denver, Tampa Bay, Houston, Indianapolis, Miami and Carolina are among the teams that figure to be in the market for a veteran quarterback this offseason.

Garoppolo might be the most attractive option available in a year that does not figure to offer any pick-and-play rookies from the 2022 NFL Draft class.


The Indianapolis Colts a year ago acquired quarterback Carson Wentz from the Philadelphia Eagles for a 2021 third-round selection and a conditional pick that turned into a 2022 first-round pick.

After one year with Wentz, the Colts appear ready to move on from Wentz.

While there are some physical risks that any interested team will take on, Garoppolo’s leadership is an area that makes him attractive to any quarterback-needy team.

Garoppolo handled the 2021 season with aplomb.

The 49ers informed him a month before the draft that they had traded up to No. 3 overall to select his eventual successor. That’s what they did with the decision to pick Trey Lance.

Garoppolo kept a smile on his face throughout the season and earned even more respect from his teammates with how he handled a difficult situation.

Just when coach Kyle Shanahan started considering a change at quarterback at the midway point of the season, Garoppolo’s game took off and the 49ers started winning games.

He completed 68.3 percent of his pass attempts for 3,810 yards with 20 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and a 98.7 passer rating in 15 games.

Garoppolo showed his toughness with his willingness to play through a torn ligament in his right thumb, then an injury to his throwing shoulder.

The thumb does not require surgery, but the decision was made last week to repair the capsule in his shoulder. The rehab is straightforward. He is expected to be ready to resume throwing a football in late June or early July, approximately a month before the start of training camp.

When the 49ers' season came to an end with a loss to the eventual Super Bowl-champion Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game, that was it for Garoppolo's time with the 49ers.

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Two days after the season-ending defeat, Garoppolo publicly said goodbye.

Clearly, it is Lance's time to take over.

Next Wednesday is the first day of the new league year. It’s when Garoppolo’s no-trade clause expires. It is the first day in which the 49ers can officially trade him.

And, now, it appears as if that could happen sooner than later because of the dearth of legitimate options of quarterbacks to switch teams and immediately step into starting roles.

The news that Rodgers is remaining in Green Bay could expedite the action on trade talks for Garoppolo.

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